January No. 25
THE BIZARRE, THE FRIGHTENING, THE GRUESOME
by CLARK ASHTON
A Compelling And Different Werewolf Novelet
THERE SHALL BE NO DARKNESS
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The Bizarre aid The Unseal
Volume 5 CONTENTS FOR JANUARY Number 1
COVER Virgil Finlay
THE EDITOR'S PAGE 4
THERE SHALL BE NO DARKNESS (novelet) ... James Blish 6
THE PHANTOM SHIP Captain Frederick Marrayat 41
THE RECKONING (Your Findings on the September issue) ... 48
WHEN DEAD GODS WAKE Victor Rousseau 49
THE WRITINGS OF ELWIN ADAMS . . . Larry Eugene Meredith 69
THE COLOSSUS OF YLOURGNE (novelet) ... Clark Ashton Smith 80
INQUISITIONS (book comments) 114
IT IS WRITTEN (Your Comments and Our Replies) 116
COMING NEXT ISSUE 119
READER'S PREFERENCE PAGE (double-barrelled) 129/130
While the greatest diligence has been used to ascertain the owners of rights, and to
secure necessary permissions, the editor and publisher wish to offer their apologies
in any possible case of accidental Infringements.
Robert A. W. Lowndes, Editor
MAGAZINE OK HORROR, Vol. 5, No. 1, January 1969 (whole number 25). Pub-
lished bi-monthly by Health Knowledge, Inc. Executive and editorial offices at
119 Flih Avenue, N. Y., N. Y. 1W»3. Single copy 50c Annual subscription
(6 Issues) $2.50 in the U. S., Canada, and Pan American Union. Foreign, $3.tK).
Manuscripts; accompanied by stamped, self-addressed envelopes will be carefully
considered, but the publisher and editors will not be responsible for loss or dam-
age. All payments for accepted contributions are made on publication.® 1968 by
Health Knowledge, inc. All rights reserved under Universal International and Pan
American copyright conventions. Printed in U. S. A.
< Dke £!ditor'6 Pap
September 1, 1930 fell on a
Wednesday; that was the day the new
issue of WONDER STORIES was
due to go on sale, but there was
always the hope that I might see it
a day or two before, so I started to
haunt the local newsstands Monday.
Being entirely innocent of distribu-
tion, I didn't know that since all the
stands carried the magazine, they'd
all get the new issue at the same
time. I don't recall now whether I
had to wait until Wednesday, but
I'll never forget the gasp of sheer
delight that filled me when I saw
the magnificently lurid cover that
graced the new issue. The cover was
by Frank R. Paul; the story illus-
trated was Marooned in Andromeda..
by an author whose name I had
never seen before: Clark Ashton
Smith. Later that month, the new
(and, alas, final) issue of AMAZ-
ING DETECTIVE TALES carried
another Smith story: Murder in the
But it was not until the following
June, when WONDER STORIES pre-
sented The City of Singing Flame
(title changed to The City of the
Singing Flame when Arkham House
reran it, along with the sequel in
the first CAS collection, Out of Space
and Time; 1942), with another won-
derful cover by Paul, that those of
us who knew not WEIRD TALES
began to get the full flavor of this
author. It was later that year
(1931), when I picked up the Octo-
ber issue of WT and found stories
both by Smith and Kdmond Hamil-
ton listed on the contents page, that
I first purchased the magazine.
It is more difficult for me to write
about Smith than about Dr. Keller
and H.P. Lovecraft, because I never
felt any personal involvement with
him, despite the fact that his stories
seemed wonderful to me. Most of
us, back in the 30' s, were constantly
being put on the defensive in rela-
tion to reading science fiction and
weird fiction at all; and when a fa-
vorite author was attacked violently,
our hackles rose. I'd read my first
Keller story . in 1928, and re-
membered it vividly when I saw his
name on the cover of SCIENCE
WONDER STORIES in 1929.
When I finally managed to get a
subscription to SWS, starting with
the January 1930 issue, The Reader
Speaks department was running a
controversy over Keller, in relation
to The Human Termites. It wasn't
merely that some readers didn't care
for the story; they detested it, they
thought Keller's writings totally
worthless, they proclaimed that any-
one who found such trash good was
obviously an imbecile— his brain no
doubt rotted away from reading sci-
ence fiction in the first place. And
the vituperation that greeted the ap-
pearance of At The Mountains of
Madness, when it appeared in
ASTOUNDING STORIES in 1936,
involved my emotions with H.P.
Lovecraft as a person. (With both
authors, such vitriol came from a
minority of published letters— but,
as I said, most of us readers felt
very defensive in those days.) But I
did not see much dislike of Smith
put in such a way as, it seemed, to
be a personal attack on me for liking
him. That's the only explanation I
can think of for my relative lack of
feeling for him, as compared to Kel-
ler and Lovecraft; I still think many
of the stories themselves are entirely
The Colossus of Ylourgne is
among the group of stories CAS
wrote about medieval Averoigne, the
others being The Maker of Gar-
goyles, The Holiness of Azederac,
The Beast of Averoigne, The Man-
drakes, The Disinterment of Venus..
The Satyr, The End of the Story,
A Rendezvous in Averoigne, Mother
of Toads, and The Enchantress of
Sylaire. All except The Satyr origin-
ally appeared in WEIRD TALES,
and the group was published there
between 1930 and 1941. Two of
the stories were voted by the readers
as best in the issue: The End of the
Story and The Colossus of Ylourgne.
(It's often been noted that Editor
Farnsworth Wright never selected a
Lovecraft story for cover illustration;
not only that, no Lovecraft story was
ever selected for feature pre-viewing
on the "Coming Next Month" page;
they were simply announced with the
other stories below the feature. Smith
received two covers from Wright, and
six featurings on the preview page
— Colossus is one of the six. After
Wright was put out of the editorship,
the "Coming Next Month" page was
dropped; Smith did, however, receive
one more cover illustration, but his
appearances in the Mcllraith WT
were very few.)
During the period (which, for me,
is the golden period of WT, the years
of Farnsworth Wright — although the
Mcllraith era, as a whole, gave us
more fine stories than the editor is
usually credited for), Clark Ashton
(Turn to page 127)
Who Was The Strange
"Living corpses! Men and women
filched from the grave, festering in
their moldering cerements, talking,
laughing, dancing, breathing, hold-
ing hellish jubilee! All this have I
seen— and more. Yet who will believe
me— I who am an inmate of the
House of the Living Dead? Even
as I pen this screed I look down
and see the rotting cloth dropping
frm my mildewed framework with
every move and feel the maggots bore *
their tortuous way through my de-
caying carcass. Ugh! Even I, living
dead man that I am, inured to the
horror of it all, shudder as I write.
"I am helpless. Would that I had
the power to free myself from the foul
grasp, of Lessman, the master of us
all! Across the room, lies the body
of Carter Cope. Soon ... I will
return to occupy it . . ."
You Won't Want To Miss
THE HOUSE OF THE
by Harold Ward
Complete in the Fall Issue of
see page 125
JAMES BLISH has very rarely deviated from science fiction in his
imaginative stories, and to the best of my knowledge, where he has es-
sayed into fantasy, it has been science directed fantasy— with the exception
of Black Easter, or Faust Aleph- Null. Thepresent story is not an exception:
the werewolf we meet here is no supernatural manifestation but a plausibly
explained creature; neither the science fiction nor the horror element is
slighted, so that we feel that this story was rightly published in THRILL-
ING WONDER STORIES and it has equal validity here.
Blish was seen in the letter department of ASTOUNDING STORIES
in 1932, and tried his hand at fan magazine publishing later in the
30s. His first published story was in the initial issue of Frederik Pohl's
SUPER SCIENCE STORIES in 1940, and his first science fiction novel,
Let The Finder Beware., appeared in the December 1949 issue of THRILL-
ING WONDER STORIES; expanded, it became his first hard-cover
book, Jack of Eagles., soon to be re-issued in soft covers. His theological
science fiction novel, A Case of Conscience, won a Hugo in 1959.
But the book which gives him the most satisfaction, to date, is not-
science fiction and has never been published in this country. Dr. Mir-
abilis, a novel about Roger Bacon and the founding of the scientific
method, was published by Faber & Faber in England, where it became
both a critical and commercial success.
Copyright 1950 by Standard Magazines, Inc., for THRILLING WONDER STORIES,
April; by permission of James Blish.
IT WAS ABOUT 10:00 P.M. when Paul Foote decided that
there was a monster at Newcliffe's houseparty.
Foote was tight at the time— tighter than he liked to be ever. He
sprawled in a too-easy chair in the front room on the end of his spine,
his arms resting on the high arms of the chair. A half-empty glass de-
pended laxly from his right hand. A darker spot on one gray trouser-
leg showed where some of the drink had gone. Through half-shut eyes
he watched Jarmoskowski at the piano.
The pianist was playing, finally, the Scriabin sonata for which the
rest of the gathering had been waiting but for Foote, who was a painter
with a tin ear, it wasn't music at all. It was a cantrap, whose implica-
tions were secret and horrible.
The room was stuffy and was only halfas large as it had been during
the afternoon and Foote was afraid that he was the only living man
in it except for Jan Jarmoskowski. The rest were wax figures, pretending
to be humans in an aesthetic trance.
Of Jarmoskowski's vitality there could be no question. He was not
handsome but there was in him a pure brute force that had its own
beauty — that and the beauty of precision with which the force was con-
trolled. When his big hairy hands came down it seemed that the piano
should fall into flinders. But the impact of fingers on keys was calculated
to the single dyne.
It was odd to see such delicacy behind such a face. Jarmoskowski's
hair grew too low on his rounded head despite the fact that he had
avoided carefully any suggestion of Musician's Haircut. His brows
were straight, rectangular, so shaggy that they seemed to meet.
From where Foote sat he noticed for the first time the odd way the
Pole's ears were placed — tilted forward as if in animal attention, so that
the vestigial "point" really was in the uppermost position.
They were cocked directly toward the keyboard, reminding Foote
irresistibly of the dog on the His Master's Voice trade-mark.
Where had he seen that head before? In Matthias Gruenwald, per-
haps—in that panel on the Isenheim Altar that showed the Temptation
of St. Anthony. Or was it one of the illustrations in the Red Grimoire,
those odd old woodcuts that Chris Lundgren called "Rorschak tests of the
mediaeval mind" ?
Jarmoskowski finished the Scriabin, paused, touched his hands to-
gether reflectively, began a work of his own, the (killiard fantasy lie.
The wax figures did not stir, but a soft eerie sigh of recognition came
from their frozen lips.
MAGAZINE OF HORROR
There was another person in the room but Foote could not tell who
it was. When he turned his unfocused eyes to count, his mind went back
on him and he never managed to reach a total. But somehow there was
the impression of another presence that had not been of the party before.
Jarmoskowski was not the presence. He had been there before. But
he had something to do with it. There was an eighth presence now and
it had something to do with Jarmoskowski.
What was it ?
For it was there— there was no doubt about that. The energy which
the rest of Foote' s senses ordinarily would have consumed was flowing
into his instincts now because his senses were numbed. Acutely, poig-
nantly, his instincts told him of the Monster. It hovered around the
piano, sat next to Jarmoskowski as he caressed the musical beast's
teeth, blended with the long body and the serpentine fingers.
Foote had never had the horrors from drinking before and he knew
he did not have them now. A part of his mind which was not drunk had
recognized real horror somewhere in this room. And the whole of his
mind, its skeptical barriers down, believed and trembled within itself.
The badike circling of the frantic notes was stilled abruptly. Foote
blinked, startled. "Already ?" he said stupidly.
"Already?" Jarmoskowski echoed. "But that's a long piece, Paul.
Your fascination speaks well for my writing."
His eyes flashed redly as he looked directly at the painter. Foote
tried frantically to remember whether or not his eyes had been red dur-
ing the afternoon. Or whether it was possible for any man's eyes to be
as red at any time as this man's were now.
"The writing ?" he said, condensing the far-flung diffusion of his brain.
Newcliffe's highballs were damn strong. "Hardly the writing, Jan. Such
fingers as those could put fascination into Three Blind Mice."
He laughed inside at the parade of emotions which marched across
Jarmoskowski's face. Startlement at a compliment from Foote— for there
had been an inexplicable antagonism between the two since the pianist
had first arrived — then puzzled reflection — then finally veiled anger as
the hidden slur bared its fangs in his mind. Nevertheless the man could
laugh at it.
"They are long, aren't they ?" he said to the rest of the group, unroll-
ing them like the party noisemakers which turn from snail to snake when
blown through. "But it's a mistake to suppose that they assist my play-
ing, I assure you. Mostly they stumble over each other. Especially over
There Shall Be No Darkness
He held up his hands for inspection. Suddenly Foote was trembling.
On both hands, the index fingers and the middle fingers were exactly
the same length.
"1 suppose Lundgren would call me a mutation. It's a nuisance at the
Doris Gilmore, once a student of Jarmoskowski in Prague, and still
obviously, painfully, in love with him, shook coppery hair back from
her shoulders and held up her own hands.
"My fingers are so stubby," she said ruefully. "Hardly pianist's hands
"The hands of a master pianist," Jarmoskowski said. He smiled,
scratching his palms abstractedly, and Foote found himself in a universe
of brilliant perfectly-even teeth. No, not perfectly even. The polished rows
were bounded almost mathematically by slightly longer cuspids. They
reminded him of that idiotic Poe story— was it Berenice? Obviously
Jarmoskowski would not die a natural death. He would be killed by a
dentist for possession of those teeth.
"Three fourths of the greatest pianists I know have hands like truck
drivers," Jarmoskowski was saying. "Surgeons too, as Lundgren will
tell you. Long fingers tend to be clumsy."
"You seem to manage to make tremendous music, all the same,"
Newclifte said, getting up.
"Thank you, Tom." Jarmoskowski seemed to take his host's rising
as a signal that he was not going to be required to play any more.
He lifted his feet from the pedals and swung them around to the end
of the bench. Several of the others rose also. Foote struggled up to numb
feet from the infernal depths of the armchair. He set his glass cautiously
on the side-table and picked his way over to Christian Lundgren.
"I read your paper, the one you read to the' Stockholm Congress," he
said, controlling his tongue with difficulty. "Jarmoskowski's hands are — "
"Yes," the psychiatrist said, looking at Koote with sharp, troubled
eyes. Suddenly Foote was aware of Lundgren' s chain of thought. The
gray, chubby little man was assessing his drunkenness, and wondering
whether or not Foote would have forgotten the whole business in the
Lundgren made a gesture of dismissal. "I saw them," he said, his
tone flat. "A mutation probably, as he himself suggests. This is the
twentieth century. I'm going to bed and forget it. Which you may take
for advice asivell as information."
He stalked out of the room, leaving Foote standing alone, wondering
MAGAZINE OF HORROR
whether to be reassured or more alarmed than before. Lundgren should
know. Still, if Jarmoskowski was what he seemed —
The party appeared to be surviving quite nicely without Foote. Con-
versations were starting up about the big room. Jarmoskowski and Doris
shared the piano bench and were talking in low tones, punctuated now
and then by brilliant arpeggios as the Pole showed her easier ways of
handling the work she had played before dinner.
James and Bennington, the American critic, were dissecting James'
most recent novel for a fascinated Newcliffe. Blandly innocent Caroline
Newcliffe was talking to the air about nothing at all. Nobody missed
Lundgren and it seemed unlikely that Foote would be missed.
He walked with wobbly nonchalance into the dining room, where
the buder WAS still clearing the table.
"Scuse me," he said. "Litde experiment. Return in the morning." He
snatched a knife from the table, looked for the door which led from the
dining room into the foyer, propelled himself through it. The hallway
was dim but intelligible.
As he closed the door to his room he paused for a moment to listen
to Jarmoskowski' s technical exhibition on the keys. It might be that at
midnight Jarmoskowski would give another sort of exhibition. If he did
Foote would be glad to have the knife. He shrugged uneasily, closed the
door all the way and walked over to his bedroom window.
At 11:30, Jarmoskowski stood alone on the terrace of Newcliffe' s coun-
try house. Although there was no wind the night was frozen with a pierc-
ing cold— but he did not seem to notice it. He stood motionless, like a
black statue, with only the long streamers of his breathing, like twin jets
of steam from the nostrils of a dragon, to show that he was alive.
Through the haze of lace that curtained Foote's window Jarmoskowski
was an heroic pillar of black stone— but a pillar above a fumarole.
The front of the house was entirely dark and the moonlight gleamed
dully on the snow. In the dim light the heavy tower which was the central
structure was like some ancient donjon-keep. Thin slits of embrasures
watched the landscape with a dark vacuity and each of the crowning
merlons wore a helmet of snow.
The house huddled against the malice of the white night. A sense
of age invested it. The curtains smelt of dust and antiquity. It seemed
impossible that anyone but Foote and Jarmoskowski could be alive
in it. After a long moment Foote moved the curtain very slighdy and
drew it back.
There Shall Be No Darkness
His lace was drenched in moonlight and he drew back into the dark
again, leaving the curtains parted.
It" Jarmoskowski saw the furtive motion he gave no sign. He remained
engrossed in the acerb beauty of the night. Almost the whole of New-
cliffe's estate was visible from where he stood. Even the black border
of the forest, beyond the golf course to the right, could be seen through
the dry frigid air. A few isolated trees stood nearer the house, casting
grotesque shadows on the snow, shadows that flowed and changed shape
with infinite slowness as the moon moved.
Jarmoskowski sighed and scratched his left palm. His lips moved
A wandering cloud floated idly toward the moon, its shadow pre-
ceding it, gliding in a rush of darkness toward the house. The gentle
ripples of the snowbanks contorted in. the vast umbra, assumed demon
shapes, twisted bodies halt-rising from the earth, sinking back, rising
again, whirling closer. A damp frigid wind rose briefly, whipping crys-
talline showers of snow from the terrace flagstones.
The wind died as the shadow engulfed the house. For a long instant
the darkness and silence persisted. Then, from somewhere among the
stables behind the house, a dog raised his voice in a faint sustained
throbbing howl. Others joined him.
Jarmoskowski's teeth gleamed dimly in the occluded moonlight. He
stood a moment longer — then his head turned with startling quickness
and his eyes flashed a feral scarlet at the dark window where Foote
hovered. Foote released the curtains hastily. Even through them he could
see the pianist's grim phosphorescent smile. Jarmoskowski went back
into the house.
There was A single small light burning in the corridor. Jarmoskowski's
room was at the end of the hall next to Foote' s. As he walked reflectively
toward it the door of the room across from Foote's swung open and
Doris Gilmore came out, clad in a houseboat, a towel over her arm and
a toothbrush in her hand.
"Oh!" she said. Jarmoskowski turned toward her. Foote slipped be-
hind his back and into Jarmoskowski's room. He did not propose to
have Doris a witness to the thing he expected from Jarmoskowski.
In a quieter voice Doris said, "Oh, it's you, Jan. You startled me."
"So I see," Jarmoskowski's voice said.' Foote canted one eye around
the edge of the door. "It appears that we are the night-owls of the party."
"The rest are tight. Especially that horrible painter. I've been reading
MAGAZINE OF HORROR
the magazines Tom left by my bed and I finally decided to go to sleep
too. What have you been doing ?"
"Oh, I was just out on the terrace, getting a breath of air. I like the
winter night — it bites."
"The dogs are restless, too," she said. "Did you hear them ?"
"Yes," Jarmoskowski said and smiled. "Why does a full moon make
a dog feel so sorry for himself?"
"Maybe there's a banshee about."
"I doubt it," Jarmoskowski said. "This house isn't old enough to
have any family psychopomps. As far as I know none of Tom's or
Caroline's relatives have had the privilege of dying in it."
"You talk as if you almost believed it." There was a shiver in her
voice. She wrapped the houseboat more tightly about her slim waist.
"I come from a country where belief in such things is common. In
Poland most of the skeptics are imported."
"I wish you'd pretend to be an exception," she said. "You give me
He nodded seriously. They looked at each other. Then he stepped
forward and took her hands in his.
Foote felt a belated flicker of embarassment. If he were wrong he'd
speedily find himself in a position for which no apology would be pos-
The girl was looking up at Jarmoskowski, smiling uncertainly. "Jan,"
"No," Jarmoskowski said. "Wait. It has been a long time
"I see," she said. She tried to release her hands.
Jarmoskowski said sharply, "You don't see. I was eighteen then.
You were— what was it?— eleven, I think. In those days I was proud
of your schoolgirl crush but of course infinitely too old for you: I am
not so old any more and you are so lovely— no, no, hear me out,
please! Doris, I love you now, as I can see you love me, but — "
In the brief pause Foote could hear the sharp indrawn breaths that
Doris Gilmore was trying to control. He writhed with shame for him-
self. He had no business being—
"But we must wait, Doris— until I warn you of something neither of
us could have dreamed in the old days."
"Yes," Jarmoskowski paused again. Then he said, "You will find it
There Shall Be No Darkness 13
hard to believe. But if you do we may yet be happy. Doris, I cannot
be a skeptic. I am — ' '
He stopped. He had looked down abstractedly at her hands as if
searching for precisely the right words. Then, slowly, he turned her hands
over until they rested palms up upon his. An expression of inexpressible
shock crossed his face and Foote saw his grip tighten spasmodically.
In that silent moment, Foote knew that he had been right about Jar-
moskowski and despite his pleasure he was frightened.
For an instant Jarmoskowski shut his eyes. The muscles along his
jaw stood out with the violence with which he was clenching his teeth.
Then, deliberately, he folded Doris' hands together and his curious
fingers made a fist about them. When his eyes opened again they were
red as flame in the weak light.
Doris jerked her hands free and crossed them over her breasts. "Jan —
what is it ? What's the matter ?"
His face, that should have been flying into flinders under the force
of the thing behind it, came under control muscle by muscle.
"Nothing," he said. "There's really no point in what I was going to
say. Nice to have seen you again, Doris. Goodnight."
He brushed past her, walked the rest of the way down the corridor,
wrenched back the doorknob of his own room. Foote barely managed
to get out of his way.
Behind the house a dog howled and was silent again.
IN JARMOSKOWSKI'S ROOM THE MOONLIGHT played in
through the open window upon a carefully turned-down bed and the
cold air had penetrated every cranny. He shut the door and went directly
across the room to the table beside his bed. As he crossed the path of
silvery light his shadow was oddly foreshortened, so that it looked as if
it were walking on all fours. There was a lamp on the side table and he
reached for it.
Then he stopped dead still, his hand halfway to the switch. He seemed
to be listening. Finally, he turned and looked back across the room,
directly at the spot behind the door where Foote was standing.
It was the blackest spot of all, for it had its back to the moon. But
Jarmoskowski said immediately, "Hello, Paul. Aren't you up rather late?"
Foote did not reply for a while. His senses were still a little alcohol-
numbed and he was overwhelmed by the thing he knew to be. He stood
MAGAZINE OF HORROR
silently in the darkness, watching the Pole's barely r visible figure beside
the fresh bed, and the sound of his own breathing was loud in his ears.
The broad flat streamer of moonlight lay between them like a metalic
"I'm going to bed shortly," he said at last. His voice sounded flat
and dead and faraway, as if belonging to someone else entirely. "I just
came to issue a little warning."
"Well, well," said Jarmoskowski pleasantly. "Warnings seem to be
all the vogue this evening. Do you customarily pay your social calls
with a knife in your hand ?"
"That's the warning, Jarmoskowski. The knife is a— sihrr knife."
"You must be drunker than ever," said the pianist. "Why don't you
just go to bed ? We can talk about it in the morning."
"Don't give me that," Foote snapped savagely. "You can't fool me.
I know you for what you are."
"All right. I'll bite, as Bennington would say."
"Yes, you'd bite," Foote said and his voice shook a little despite
himself. "Shall I give it a name, Jarmoskowski? In Poland they called
you Vrolok, didn't they ? And in Franceitwas loup-garou. In the Carpa-
thians it was stregoica or strega or Vlkoslak."
"Your command of languages is greater than your common sense.
But you interest me strangely. Isn't it a little out of season for
such things ? The aconites do not bloom in the dead of winter. And per-
haps the thing you call so many fluent names is also out of the season
in nineteen sixty-two. ' '
"The- dogs hate you," Foote said softly. "That was a fine display
Brucey put on when Tom brought him in from his run and he found
you here. Walked sidewise through the room, growling, watching you
with every step until Tom dragged him out. He's howling now. And that
shock you got from the table silver at dinner — I heard your excuse about
"I looked under the table, if you recall, and your shoes turned out to
be leather-soled. But was a pretty feeble excuse anyhow, for anybody
knows that you can't get an electric shock from an ungrounded piece
of tableware, no matter how long you've been scuffing rubber. It was
the silver that hurt you the first time you touched it. Silver's deadly,
isn't it ?
"And those fingers — the index fingers as long as the middle ones —
you were clever about those. You were careful to call everybody's atten-
tion to them. It's supposed to be the obvious that everybody misses. But
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Jarmoskowski, that 'Purloined Letter' gag has been worked too often in
detective stories. It didn't fool Lundgren and it didn't fool me."
"Ah," Jarmoskowski said. "Q,uite a catalogue."
"There's more. How does it happen that your eyes were gray all
afternoon and turned red as soon as the moon rose ? And the palms of
your hands — there was some hair growing there, but you shaved it off,
didn't you, Jarmoskowski ? I've been watching you scratch them. Every-
thing about you, the way you look, the way you act -» everything you
say screams your nature in a dozen languages to anyone who knows
After a long silence Jarmoskowski said, "I see. You've been most
attentive, Paul — I see you are what people call the suspicious drunk. But
I appreciate your warning, Paul. Let us suppose that what you say of
me is true. Have you thought that, knowing that you know, I would
have no choice any more ? That the first word you said to me about it
all might brand your palm with the pentagram ?"
Foote had not thought about it. He had spent too much time trying
to convince himself that it was all a pipe dream. A shock of blinding
terror convulsed him. The silver knife clattered to the floor. He snatched
up his hands and stared frantically at them, straining his eyes through
the blackness. The full horror implicit in Jarmoskowski' s suggestion
struck him all at once with paralyzing force.
From the other side of his moonlit room, Jarmoskowski' s voice came
mockingly. "So- you hadn't thought. Better never than late, Paul!"
The dim figure of Jarmoskowski began to writhe and ripple in the
reflected moonlight. It foreshortened, twisting obscenely, sinking toward
the floor, flesh and clothing alike changing into something not yet de-
A cry ripped from Foote' s throat and he willed his legs to move with
frantic, nightmarish urgency. His clutching hand grasped the doorknob.
Tearing his eyes from the hypnotic fascination of the thing that was
going on across from him he leaped from his corner and out into the
A bare second after he had slammed the door, something struck.it
a frightful blow from the inside. The paneling split. He held it shut with
all the strength in his body.
A dim white shape drifted down upon him through the dark corridor
and a fresh spasm of fear sent rivers of sweat down on his back, his
sides, into his eyes. But it was only the girl.
"Paul ! What on earth ! What's the matter!"
MAGAZINE OF HORROR
"Quick!" he choked out. "Get something silver— something heavy
made out of silver — quick, quick !"
Despite her astonishment the frantic urgency in his voice was enough.
She darted back into her room.
To Foote it seemed eternity before she returned — an eternity while
he listened with abnormally sensitized ears for a sound inside the room.
Once he thought he heard a low growl but he was not sure. The sealike
hissing and sighing of his blood, rushing through the channels of the
inner ear, seemed very loud to him. He couldn't imagine why it was not
arousing the whole country-side. He clung to the doorknob and panted.
Then the girl was back, bearing a silver candlestick nearly three
feet in length— a weapon that was almost too good, for this fright-weak-
ened muscles had some difficulty in lifting it. He shifted his grip on the
knob to his left hand, hefted the candlestick awkwardly.
"All right," he said, in what he hoped was a grim voice. "Now let
"What in heaven's name is this all about?" Doris said. "You're
waking everybody in the house with this racket. Look — even one of the
dogs is in to see — "
" The dog!"
He swung around, releasing the doorknob. Not ten paces from them,
an enormous coal-black animal, nearly five feet in length, grinned at
them with polished fangs. As soon as it saw Foote move it snarled. Its
eyes gleamed red in the single bulb.
Foote lifted the candlestick high and brought it down — but the animal
was not there. Somehow the leap was never completed. There was a brief
flash of movement at the open end of the corridor, then darkness and
"He saw the candlestick," Foote panted. "Must have jumped out the
window and come around through the front door. Saw the silver and
"Paul!" Doris cried. "What— how did you know that thing would
jump ? It was so big ! Silver — "
He chuckled, surprising even himself. He had a mental picture of
what the truth would sound like to Doris. "That," he said, "was a wolf
and a whopping one. Even the usual kind of wolf isn't very friendly
Footsteps sounded on the floor above and the voice of Newclifte,
grumbling loudly, came down the stairs. Newcliffe liked his evenings
There Shall Be No Darkness
noisy and his nights quiet. The whole house seemed to have heard the
commotion, for in a moment a number of half-clad figures were elbowing
out into the corridor, wanting to know what was up.
Abruptly the lights went on, revealing blinking faces and pajama-clad
forms struggling into robes. Newcliffe came down the stairs. Caroline
was with him, impeccable even in disarray, her face openly and honestly
ignorant and unashamedly beautfiul. She made an excellent foil for Tom.
She was no lion-hunter but she loved parties. Evidently she was pleased
that the party was starting again.
"What's all this?" Newcliffe demanded in agravelly voice. "Foote,
are you the center of this whirlpool ? Why all the noise ?"
"Werewolf," said Foote, suddenly very conscious of how meaningless
the world would be here. "We've got a werewolf here. And somebody's
marked out for him."
How else could you put it ? Let it stand.
There was a chorus of "What's" as the group josded about him.
"Eh ? What was that? . . . Werewolf, I thought he said . . . What's this
all about ? . . . Somebody's been a wolf ... Is that new ? What an up-
"Paul," Lundgren's voice cut through. "Details, please."
"Jarmoskowski's a werewolf," Foote said grimly, making his tone as
emotionless and factual as he could. "I suspected it earlier tonight and
went into his room and accused him of it. He changed shape, right on the
spot while I was watching."
The sweat started out afresh at the recollection of that horrible, half-
seen mutation. "He came around into the hall and went for us and I
scared him off with a silver candlestick for a club." He realized suddenly
that he still held the candlestick, brandished it as proof. "Doris saw the
wolf — she'll vouch for that."
"I saw a big doglike thing, all right," Doris admitted. "And it did
jump at us. It was black and huge teeth. But— Paul, was that supposed
to be Jan ? Why, that's ridiculous !"
"It certainly is," Newcliffe said feelingly. "Getting us all up for a
practical joke. Probably one of the dogs is loose."
"Do you have any coal-black dogs five feet long?" Foote demanded
desperately. "And where' s Jarmoskowski now. Why isn't he here ? Answer
Bennington gave a skeptical grunt from the background and opened
Jarmoskowski's door. The party tried to jam itself into the room. Foote
forced his way through the jam.
MAGAZINE OF HORROR
"See ? He isn't here, either. And the bed's not been slept in. Doris, you
saw him go in there. Did you see him come out ?"
The girl looked startled. "No, but I was in my room — "
"All right. Here. Look at this." Foote led the way over to the window
and pointed. "See ? The prints on the snow ?"
One by one the others leaned out. There was no arguing it. A set of
animal prints, like large dogtracks, led away from a spot just beneath
Jarmoskowski's window— a spot where the disturbed snow indicated the
landing of some heavy body.
"Follow them around," Foote said. "They lead around to the front
door, and in." .
"Have you traced them ?" James asked.
"I don't have to. I saw the thing, James."
"Maybe he must went for a walk," Caroline suggested.
"Barefoot ?" There are his shoes."
Bennington vaulted over the windowsill with an agility astonishing
for so round a man and plowed away with slippered feet along the line
of tracks. A little while later he entered the room behind their backs.
"Paul's right," he said, above the hub-bub of excited conversation.
"The tracks go around to the front door, then come out again and go
away around the side of the house toward the golf course." He rolled
up his wet pajama-cuffs awkwardly.
"This is crazy," Newcliffe declared angrily. "This is the twentieth
century. We're like a lot of little children, panicked by darkness. There's
no such thing as a werewolf!"
"I wouldn't place any wagers on that," James said. "Millions of
people have thought so for hundreds of years. That's a lot of people."
Newcliffe turned sharply to Lundgren. "Chris, I can depend upon you
at least to have your wits about you."
The psychiatrist smiled wanly. "You didn't read my Stockholm paper,
did you, Tom ? I mean my paper on mental diseases. Most of it dealt
with lycanthropy— werewolfism."
"You mean — you believe this idiot story ?"
"I spotted Jarmoskowski early in the evening." Lundgren said. "He
must have shaved the hair on his palms but he has all the other signs —
eyes bloodshot with moonrise, first and second fingers of equal length,
pointed ears, domed prefrontal bones, elongated upper cuspids or fangs —
in short, the typical hyperpineal type— a lycanthrope."
"Why didn't you say something ?"
"I have a natural horror of being laughed at," Lundgren said drily.
There Shall Be No Darkness
"And / didn't want to draw Jarmoskowskt s attention to me. These
endocrine-imbalance cases have a way of making enemies very easily."
Foote grinned ruefully. If he had thought of that part of it before
accusing Jarmoskowski he would have kept his big mouth shut.
"Lycanthropy is quite common," Lundgren droned, "but seldom men-
tioned. It is the litde-known aberration of a little-known ductless gland.
It appears to enable the victim to control his body."
"I'm still leery of this whole business," Bennington growled, from
somewhere deep in his pigeon's chest. "I've known Jan for years. Nice
fella — did a lot for me once. And I think there's enough discord in this
house so that I won't add to it much if I say I wouldn't trust Paul
Foote as far as I could throw him. By heaven, Paul, if this does turn
out to be some practical joke of yours — "
"Ask Lundgren," Foote said.
There was dead silence, broken only by heavy breathing. Lundgren
was known to every one of them as the world's ultimate authority on
hormone-created insanity. Nobody seemed to want to ask him.
, "Paul's right," Lundgren said at last. "Take it or leave it. Jarmo-
skowski is a lycanthrope. A hyper-pineal. No other gland could affect
the blood-vessels of the eyes like that or make such a reorganization of
the cells possible. Jarmoskowski is inarguably a werewolf."
Bennington sagged, the light of righteous incredulity dying from his
eyes. "I'll be damned !" he muttered.
"We've got to get him tonight," Foote said. "He's seen the penta-
gram on somebody's palm — somebody in the party."
"What's that ?" asked James.
"Common illusion of lycanthropic seizures," Lundgren said. "Hal-
lucination, I should say. A five-pointed star inscribed in a circle— you
find it in all the old mystical books, right back to the so-called fourth
and fifth Books of Moses. The werewolf sees it on the palm of his next
There was a gasping little scream from Doris. "So that's it!" she
cried. "Dear God, I'm the one! He saw something on my hand to-
night while we were talking in the hall. He was awfully starUed and went
away without another word. He said he was going to warn me about
something and then he — "
"Steady," Bennington said in a soft voice that had all the penetrating
power of a thunderclap. "There's safety in numbers. We're all here."
Nevertheless, he could not keep himself from glancing surreptitiously over
MAGAZINE OF HORROR
"Well, that settles it," James said in earnest squeaky tones. "We've
got to trail the — the beast and kill him. It should be easy to follow his
v trail in the snow. We must kill him before he kills Doris or somebody
else. Even if he misses us it would be just as bad to have him roaming
"What are you going to kill him with?" asked Lundgren matter-
"I said, what are you going to kill him with ? With that pineal
hormone in his blood he can laugh at any ordinary bullet. And since
there are no chapels dedicated to St. Hubert around here you can't
scare him to death with a church-blessed bullet."
"Silver will do," Foote said.
"Yes, silver will do. It poisons the pinearin-catalysis. But are you
going out to hunt a full-grown wolf, a giant wolf, armed with table silver
and candlesticks ? Or is somebody here metallurgist enough to cast a
decent silver bullet?"
Foote sighed. With the burden of proof lifted from him, completely
sobered up by shock, he felt a little more like his old self, despite the
pall of horror which hung over them.
"Like I always tell my friends," he said, "there's never a dull moment
at a Newcliffe houseparty."
THE CLOCK STRUCK ONE -THIRTY. Foote picked up one of
Newcliffe's rifles and hefted it. It felt — useless. He said, "How are you
The group by the kitchen stove shook their heads in comical unison.
One of the gas burners had been jury-rigged as a giant Bunsen burner
and they were trying to melt down some soft unalloyed silver articles,
mosdy of Mexican manufacture.
They were using a small earthenware bowl, also .Mexican, for a cru-
cible. It was lidded with the bottom of a flower pot, the hole in which had
been plugged with a mixture of garden clay and rock wool yanked
forcibly out of the insulation in the attic. The awkward flame leapt un-
certainly and sent fantastic shadows flickering over their intent faces.
"We've got it melted, all right," Bennington said, lifting the lid cauti-
ously with a pair of kitchen tongs and peering in. "But what do we do
now ? Drop it from the top of the tower ?"
There Shall Be No Darkness
"You can't km a wolf with buckshot," Newcliffe pointed out. Now that
the problem had been reduced temporarily from a hypernatural one to
ordinary hunting he was in his element. "And I haven't got a decent
shotgun here anyhow. But we ought to be able to whack together a mold.
The bullet should be soft enough so that it won't ruin the rifling of my
He opened the door to the cellar stairs and disappeared, carrying
several ordinary cartridges in one hand. Faindy the dogs renewed their
howling and Doris began to tremble. Foote put his arm around her.
"It's all right," he said. "We'll get him. You're safe enough."
She swallowed. "I know," she agreed in a small voice. "But every
time I think of the way he looked at my hands and how red his eyes
were— You don't suppose he's prowling around the house? That that's
what the dogs are howling about ?"
"I don't know," Foote said carefully. "But dogs are funny that way.
They can sense things at great distances. I suppose a man with pinearin
in his blood would have a strong odor to them. But he probably knows
that we're after his scalp, so he won't be hanging around if he's smart."
She managed a tremulous smile. "All right," she said. "I'll try not
to be frightened." He gave her an awkward reassuring pat, feeling a
"Do you suppose we can use the dogs?" James wanted to know.
"Certainly," said Lundgren. "Dogs have always been our greatest
allies against the abnormal. You saw what a rage Jarmoskowski's very
presence put Brucey in this afternoon. He must have smelled the incipient
seizure. Ah, Tom — what did you manage ?"
Newcliffe set a wooden box on the table. "I pried the slug out of one
shell for each gun," he said, "and made impressions in clay. The cold
has made the stuff pretty hard, so it's a passable mold. Bring the silver
Bennington lifted his improvised crucible from the burner, which im-
mediately shot up a tall blue flame. James carefully turned it off.
"All right, pour," Newcliffe said. "Lundgren, you don't suppose it
might help to chant a blessing or something ?"
"Not unless Jarmoskowski overheard it— probably not even then since
we haven't a priest among us."
"Okay. Pour, Bennington, before the goo hardens."
Bennington decanted sluggishly molten silver into each depression in
the clay and Newcliffe cleaned away the oozy residue from the casts be-
fore it had time to thicken. At any other time the whole scene would have
MAGAZINE OF HORROR
been funny— now it was grimly grotesque. Newcliffe picked up the box
and carried it back down to the cellar, where the emasculated cartridges
awaited their new slugs.
"Who's going to carry these things, now?" Foote asked. "There are
five rifles. James, how about you ?"
"I couldn't hit an elephant's rump at three paces. Tom's an expert shot.
So is Bennington here, with a shotgun anyhow."
"I can use a rifle," Bennington said diffidendy.
"I've done some shooting," Foote said. "During the Battle of the
Bulge I even hit something."
"I," Lundgren said, "am an honorary member of the Swiss Militia."
Nobody laughed. Most of them were aware that Lundgren in his own
obscure way was bragging, that he had something to brag about. New-
cliffe appeared abruptly from the cellar.
"I pried 'em loose, cooled em with snow and rolled 'em out with a
file. They're probably badly crystallized but weneedn'tlet that worry us."
He put one cartridge in the chamber of each rifle and shot the bolts
home. "There's no sense in loading these any more thoroughly — ordinary
bullets are no good anyhow, Chris says. Just make your first shots count.
Foote, Lundgren and Bennington each took a rifle. Newcliffe took the
fourth and handed the last one to his wife.
"I say, wait a minute," James objected. "Do you think that's wise,
Tom ? I mean, taking Caroline along ?"
"Why certainly," Newcliffe said, looking surprised. "She shoots like
a fiend — she's snatched prizes away from me a couple of times. I thought
everybody was going along."
"That isn't right," Foote said. "Especially not Doris, since the wolf-
that is, I don't think she ought to go."
"Are you going to leave her here by herself?"
"Oh no!" Doris cried. " Not here ! I've got to go! I don't want to wait
all alone in this house. He might come back, and there'd nobody here.
I couldn't stand it!"
"We're all going," Newcliffe concluded. "We can't leave Doris here
unprotected and we need Caroline's marksmanship. Let's get going. It's
He put on his heavy coat and with the heavy eyed buder, went out to
get the dogs.. The rest of the company got out their own heavy clothes.
Doris and Caroline climbed into ski-suits. They assembled one by one
in the living room. Lundgren 1 s eyes swung on a vase of iris-like flowers. ;
There Shall Be No Darkness
"Hello, what's this?" he said.
"Monkshood," Caroline informed him. "We grow itinthe greenhouse.
It's pretty, isn't it? Though the gardener says it's poisonous."
"Chris," Foote said. "That isn't wolibane, is it?"
The psychiatrist shook his head. "I'm no botanist. I can't tell one
aconite from the other. But it hardly matters. Hyperpineals are allergic
to the whole group. The pollen, you see. As in hay lever your hyper-pin-
eal breathes the pollen, anaphylaxis sets in and — "
"The last twist of the knife," James murmured.
A clamoring of dogs outside announced that Newcliffe was ready.
With somber faces the party filed out through the front door. For some
reason all of them avoided stepping on the wolf's prints in the snow.
Their mien was that of condemned prisoners on the way to the tum-
brels. Lundgren took one of the sprigs of tlowers from the vase.
The moon had passed its zenith and was almost halfway down the sky,
projecting the Bastille-like shadow of the house before it. But there was
still plenty of light and the house itself was glowing from basement to
tower room. Lundgren located Brucey in the milling yapping pack and
abruptly thrust the sprig of flowers under his muzzle. The animal sniffed
once, then crouched back and snarled softly.
"Wolfbane," Lundgren said. "Dogs don't react to the other aconites-
basis of the legend, no doubt. Better fire your gardener, Caroline. In the
end he's to blame for all thisinthe dead of winter. Lycanthropy normally
is an autumn affliction."
"Even a man who says his prayers
Before he sleeps each night
May turn to a wolf when the wolfbane blooms
And the moon is high and bright."
"Stop it, you give me the horrors," Foote snapped angrily.
"Well, the dog knows now," said Newcliffe. "Good. It would have
been hard for them to pick up the spoor from cold snow but Brucey can
lead them. Let's go."
The tracks of the wolf were clear and sharp in the snow. It had formed
a hard crust from which fine, powdery showers of tiny ice-crystals were
whipped by a fitful wind. The tracks led around the side of the house
and out across the golf course. The little group plodded grimly along
beside them. The spoor was cold for the dogs but every so often they
MAGAZINE OF HORROR
would pick up a faint trace and go bounding ahead, yanking their
master after them. For the most part however the party had to depend
upon its eyes.
A heavy mass of clouds had gathered in the west. The moon dipped
lower. Foote's shadow, grotesquely lengthened, marched on before him
and the crusted snow crunched and crackled beneath his feet. There was
a watchful unnaturally-still atmosphere to the night and they all moved
in tense silence except for a few subdued growls and barks from the
Once the marks of the werewolf doubled back a short distance, then
doubled again as if the monster had turned for a moment to look back
at the house before continuing his prowling. For the most part however
the trail led directly toward the dark boundary of the woods.
As the brush began to rise about them they stopped by mutual con-
sent and peered warily ahead, rifles held ready for instant action. Far
out across the countryside behind them, the great cloud-shadow once
more began its sailing. The brilliantly-lit house stood out fantastically
in the gloom.
"Should have turned those out," Newcliffe muttered, looking back.
The dogs strained at their leashes. In the black west was an inaudible
muttering as of winter thunder. Brucey pointed a quivering nose at the
woods and growled.
"He's in there, all right."
"We'd better step on it," Bennington said, whispering. "Going to be
plenty dark in about five minutes. Storm."
Still they hesitated, regarding the menacing darkness of the forest.
Then Newclifffe waved his gun hand in the conventional deploy-as-
skirmishers signal and plowed forward. The rest spread out in a loosely-
spaced line and followed and Foote's finger trembled over his trigger.
The forest in the shrouded darkness was a place of clutching brittle
claws, contorted bodies, and the briefly-glimpsed demon-faces of am-
bushed horrors. It was Dante's jungle, the woods of Purgatory, where
each tree was a body frozen in agony and branches were gnarled arms
and fingers which groaned in the wind or gave sharp tiny
tinkling screams as they were broken off.
The underbrush grasped at Foote's legs. His feet broke jarringly
through the crust of snow or were supported by it when he least expected
support. His shoulders struck unseen tree-trunks. Imagined things sniffed
frightfully at his heels or slunk about him just beyond his range of
There Shall Be No Darkness
vision. The touch of a hand was enough to make him jump and smother
an involuntary outcry. The dogs strained and panted, weaving, no
longer snarling, silent with a vicious intentness.
"They've picked up something, all right," Bennington whispered. "Turn
'em loose, Tom ?"
Newcliffe bent and snapped the leashes free. Without a sound the
animals shot ahead and disappeared.
Over the forest the oncoming storm-clouds crawled across the moon.
Total blackness engulfed them. The beam of a powerful flashlight lanced
from Newcliffe' s free hand, picking out a path of tracks on the brush-
littered snow. The rest of the night drew in closer about the blue-white
"Hate to do this," Newcliffe said. "It gives us away. But he knows
we're— Hello, it's snowing."
"Let's go then," Foote said. "The tracks will be blotted out shortly."
A terrible clamorous baying rolled suddenly through the woods.
"That's it!" Newcliffe shouted. "Listen to them! Go get him, Brucey!"
They crashed ahead. Foote' s heart was beating wildly, his nerves at
an impossible pitch. The belling cry of the dogs echoed all around him,
filling the universe with noise.
"They must have sighted him," he panted. "What a racket! They'll
raise the whole countryside."
They plowed blindly through the snow-filled woods. Then, without
any interval, they stumbled into a small clearing. Snowtlakes flocculated
the air. Something dashed between Foote' s legs, snapping savagely, and
he tripped and tell into a drift.
A voice shouted something indistinguishable. Foote's mouth was full
of snow. He jerked his head up — and looked straight into the red rage-
glowing eyes of the wolf.
It was standing on the other side of the clearing, facing him, the dogs
leaping about it, snapping furiously at its legs. It made no sound at all
but crouched tiger-fashion, its lips drawn back in a grinning travesty
of Jarmoskowski's smile. It lashed at the dogs as they came closer. One
of the dogs already lay writhing on the ground, a dark pool spreading
from it, staining the snow.
"Shoot, for heaven's sake !" somebody screamed.
Newcliffe clapped his rifle to his shoulder, then lowered it indecisively.
"I can't," he said. "The dogs are in the way."
"The heck with the dogs!" James shouted. "This is no fox-hunt!
Shoot, Tom, you're the only one of us that's clear."
MAGAZINE OF HORROR
It was Foote who tired first. The rifle's flat crack echoed through the
woods and snow puffed up in a little explosion by the wolfs left hind
pad. A concerted groan arose from the party and Newcliffe's voice thund-
ered above it, ordering his dogs back. Bennington aimed with inexorable
The werewolf did not wait. With a screaming snarl he burst through
the ring of dogs and charged.
Foote jumped in front of Doris, throwing one arm across his throat.
The world dissolved into rolling, twisting pandemonium, tilled with
screaming and shouting and the frantic hatred of dogs. The snow flew
thick. Newcliffe's flashlight rolled away and lay on the snow, regarding
the tree-tops with an idiot stare.
Then there was the sound of a heavy body moving swiftly away. The
shouting died gradually.
"Anybody hurt?" James' voice asked. There was a general chorus of
rio's. Newcliffe retrieved his flashlight and played it about but the snow-
fall had reached blizzard proportions and the light showed nothing but
shadows and cold confetti.
"He got away," Bennington said. "And the snow will cover his tracks.
Better call your dogs back, Tom."
"They're back," Newcliffe said. "When I call them off they come off."
He bent over the body of the injured animal, which was still twitching
feebly. "So— so," he said softly. "So— Brucey. Easy— easy. So, Brucey—
Still murmuring, he brought his rifle into position with one arm. The
The rifle crashed.
Newcliffe arose, and looked away. "It looks as if we lose round one,"
IT SEEMED TO BECOME DAYLIGHT VERY QUICKLY. The
buder went phlegm atically around the house, snapping off the lights. If
he knew what was going on he gave no sign of it.
"Cappy ?" Newcliffe said into the phone. "Listen and get this straight
—it's important. Send a cable to Consolidated Warfare Service— no, no,
not the Zurich office, they've offices in London-^ and place an order for a
case of .44 calibre rifle cartridges.
dog's tail beat feebly against the snow.
There Shall Be No Darkness
"Listen to me, dammit, I'm not through yet— with silver slugs. Yes,
that's right— silver — and it had better be the pure stuff, too. No, not sterl-
ing, that's too hard. Tell them I want them flown over, and that they've
got to arrive here tomorrow. Yes, I know it's impossible but if you offer
them enough — yes, of course I'll cover it. Got that ?"
"Garlic," Lundgren said to Caroline. She wrote itdutifully on her mar-
keting list. "How many windows does this placehave? All right, make it
one clove for each and get half a dozen boxes of rosemary, too."
He turned to Foote. "We must cover every angle," he said somberly.
"As soon as Tom gets off the phone I'll try to raise the local priest and
get him out here with a truckload of silver crucifixes. Understand, Paul,
there is a strong physiological basis behind all the mediaeval mumbo-
"The herbs are anti-spasmodies — they act rather as ephedrine does in
hay-fever to reduce the violence of the sezure. It's possible that Jan may
not be able to maintain the wolf shape if he gets a good enough sniff. As
for the religious trappings, that's all psychological.
"If Jan happens to be a skeptic in such matters they won't bother him
but I suspect he's — " Lundgren 's English abruptly gave out. The word
he wanted obviously was not in his vocabulary. " Aberglaeubig," he
"Superstitious?" Foote suggested, smiling grimly.
"Yes. Yes, certainly. Who has better reason, may I ask ?"
"But how does he maintain the wolf shape at all ?"
"Oh, that's the easiest part. You know how water takes the shape of
a vessel it sits in ? Well, protoplasm is a liquid. This pineal hormone
lowers the surface tension of the cells and at the same time short-circuits
the sympathetic nervous system direcdy to the cerebral cortex.
"Result, a plastic, malleable body within limits. A wolf is easiest
because the skeletons are similar— not much pinearin can do with bone,
you see. An ape would be easier, but apes don't eat people."
"And vampires? Are they just advanced cases of the same thing?"
"Vampires," said Lundgren pontifically, "are people we put in padded
cells. It's impossible to change the bony structure that much. They just
think they're bats. But yes, it's advanced hyperpinealism. In the last
stages it is quite something to see.
"The surface tension is lowered so much that the cells begin to boil
away. Pretty soon there is just a mess. The process is arrested when the
vascular system can no longer circulate the hormone but of course the
victim is dead long before that."
MAGAZINE OF HORROR
"None yet. Someday perhaps, but until then— We will be doing Jan
"Also," Newcliffe was saying, "drive over and pick me up six Brown-
ing automatic rifles. Never mind the bipods, just the rifles themselves.
What ? Well, you might call it a siege. All right, Cappy. No, I won't be
in today. Pay everybody off and send them home until further notice."
"It's a good thing," Foote said, "that Newcliffe has money."
"It's a good thing," said Lundgren, "that he has me— and you. We'll
see how twentieth century methods can cope with this Dark- Age disease."
Newcliffe hung up and Lundgren took possession of the phone.. "As
soon as my man gets back from the village I'm going to set out traps.
He may be able to detect hidden metal. I've known dogs that could do it
by smell in wet weather but it's worth a try."
"What's to prevent his just going away ?" Doris asked. Somehow the
shadows of exhaustion and fear around her eyes made her lovelier than
"As I understand it he thinks he's bound by the pentagram," Foote
said. At the telephone, where Lundgren evidently was listening to a differ-
ent conversation with each ear, there was an energetic nod.
"In the old books, the figure is supposed to be a sure trap for demons
and such if you can lure them into it. And the werewolf ieels compelled
to go only for the person whom he thinks is marked with it."
Lundgren said "Excuse me" and put his hand over the mouth-piece.
"Only lasts seven days," he said.
"The compulsion ? Then we'll have to get him before then."
"Well, maybe we'll sleep tonight anyhow," Doris said dubiously.
Lundgren hung up and rejoined them. "I didn't have much difficulty
selling the good Father the idea," he said. "But he only has crucifixes
enough for our groundfloor windows. By the way, he wants a picture of
Jan in case he should turn up in the village."
"There are no existing photographs of Jarmoskowski," Newcliffe said
positively. "He never allowed any to betaken. It was a headache to his
"That's understandable," Lundgren said. "With his cell radiogens un-
der constant stimulation any picture of him would turn out over-exposed
anyhow — probably a total blank. And that in turn would expose Jan."
"Well, that's too bad but it's not irreparable," Foote said. He was
glad to be of some use again. He opened Newcliffe's desk and took out
a sheet of stationery and a pencil. In ten minutes he had produced a
There Shall Be No Darkness
head of Jarmoskowski in three quarter profile as he had seen him at the
piano that last night so many centuries ago. Lundgren studied it.
"To the life," he said. "I'll send this over by messenger. You draw
Bennington laughed. "You're not telling him anything he doesn't
know," he said. Nevertheless, Foote thought, there was considerably less
animosity in the critic's manner.
"What now ?" James asked.
"We wait," Newcliffe said. "Bennington's gun was ruined by that one
handmade slug. We can't afford to have our weapons taken out of action.
If I know Consolidated they'll have the machine-made jobs here tomor-
row. Then we'll have some hope of getting him. Right now he's shown
us he's more than a match for us in open country."
The group looked at each other. Some little understanding of what
it would mean to wait through nervous days and tear-stalked nights,
helpless and inactive, already showed on their faces. But there were ne-
cessities before which the demands of merely human feelings were forced
The conference broke up in silence.
For Foote, as lor the rest, that night was instinct with dread, pregnant
every instant with the terror of the outcry that the next moment might
bring. The waning moon, greenish and sickly, reeled ov.er the house
through a sky troubled with fulgurous clouds. An insistent wind made
distant wolf-howls, shook from the trees soft sounds like the padding of
stealthy paws, rattled windows with the scrape of claws trying for a hold.
The atmosphere of the house, hot and stuffy because of the closed win-
dows and reeking of garlic, was stretched to an impossible tautness with
waiting. In the empty room next to Foote there was the imagined coming
and going ot thin ghosts and the crouched expectancy of a turned-down
bed — awaiting an occupant who might depress the sheets in a shocking
pattern, perhaps regardless of the tiny pitiful glint of the crucifix upon the
pillow. Above him, other sleepers turned resdessly, or groaned
and started up from chilling nightmares.
The boundary between the real and the unreal had been let down in
his mind and in the flickering shadows ol the moon and the dark errands
of the ghosts there was no way of making any selection. He had entered
the cobwebby blackness of the borderland between the human and the
demon, where nothing is ever more than hall true— or half untruth.
After awhile, on the threshold of this darkness, the blasphemous voices
MAGAZINE OF HORROR
of the hidden evil things beyond it began to seep through. The wind,
abandoning the trees and gables, whispered and echoed the vo>ces, count-
ing the victims slowly as death stalked through the house.
Three — closer now !
Four— the fourth sleeper struggled a little. Foote could hear a muffled
creak of springs over his head.
Six — who was Six ? Who is next ? When ?
Seven— Oh Lord, I'm next . . . I'm next ... I'm next.
He curled into a ball, trembling. The wind died away and there was
silence, tremendous silence. After a long while he uncurled, swearing at
himself but not aloud — because he was afraid to hear his own voice.
Cut that out, now. Foote, you bloody fool. You're like a kid hiding from
the goblins. You're perfectly safe. Lundgren says so.
Mamma says so.
How the heck does Lundgren know ?
He's an expert. He wrote a paper. Go ahead, be a kid. Remember your
childhood faith in the printed word ? All right then. Go to sleep, will
There goes that damned counting again.
But after awhile his worn-down nerves would be denied no longer.
He slept a little but fitfully, falling in his dreams through such deep pits
of evil that he awoke fighting the covers and gasping for the vitiated gar-
lic-heavy air. There was a fetid foulness in his mouth and his heart
pounded. He threw oft' the covers and sat up, lighting a cigarette witb
trembling hands and trying not to see the shadows the flame threw.
He was no longer waiting for the night to end. He had forgotten that
there ever was such a thing as daylight, was waiting only for the inevit-
able growl that would herald the last horror. Thus it was a shock almost
beyond bearing to look out the window and see the brightening of dawn
over the forest.
After staring incredulously at it for a moment he snubbed out his ciga-
rette in the candlestick — which he had been carrying around the house as
if it had grown to him— and collapsed. With a sigh he was instandy
in deep and dreamless sleep.
When he finally came to consciousness he was being shaken and
Bennington's voice was in his ear. "Get up, man," the critic was saying.
There Shall Be No Darkness
"No, you needn't reach for the candlestick — everything's okay thus far."
Foote grinned. "It's a pleasure to see a friendly expression on your
face, Bennington," he said with a faint glow of general relief.
Bennington looked a little abashed. "I misjudged you," he admitted.
"I guess it takes a crisis to bring out what's really in a man so that
blunt brains like mine can see it. You don't mind if I continue to dislike
your latest abstractions, I trust?"
"That's your function," Foote said cheerfully. "To be a gadfly. Now
what's happened ?"
"Newcliffe got up early and made the rounds of the traps. We got a
good-sized rabbit out of one of them and made a stew — very good —
you'll see. The other one was empty but there was blood on it and on
the snow. Lundgren isn't up yet but we've saved scrapings for him."
James poked his head around the doorjamb, then came in. "Hope
it cripples him," he said, dextrously snaffling a cigarette from Foote' s
shirt pocket. "Pardon me. All the servants have deserted us but the butler,
and nobody will bring cigarettes up from the village."
"My, my," said Foote. "Everyone feels so chipper. Boy, I
never thought I'd be as glad to see any sunrise as I was today's."
There was a sound out-side. It sounded like the world's biggest tea-
kettle. Something flitted through the sky, wheeled and came back.
"Cripes," Foote said, shading his eyes. "A big jet job. What's he
The plane circled silently, jets cut. It lost flying speed and glided in
over the golf course, struck and rolled at breakneck speed straight for
the forest. At the last minute the pilot spun to a stop expertly.
"By heaven, I'll bet that's Newcliffe' s bullets !"
They- pounded downstairs. By the time they reached the front room
the pilot was coming in with Newcliffe. A heavy case was slung between
Newcliffe pried the case open. Then he sighed. "Look at 'em," he "said.
"Nice, shiny brass cartridges, and dull-silver heads machined for perfect
accuracy— yum, yum. I could just stand here and pet them. Where are
"Croydon," said the pilot. "If you don't mind, Mr. Newcliffe, the
company said I was to collect from you. That's a hundred pounds for
the cartridges and five hundred for me."
MAGAZINE OF HORROR
"Cheap enough. Hold on. I'll write you a check."
Foote whistled. He didn't know whether to be more awed by the trans
atl antic express service or the vast sum it had cost.
The pilot took the check and shortly thereafter the tea-kettle began to
whistle again. From another huge wooden crate Newciiffe was handing
out brand-new Brownings.
"Now let him come," he said grimly. "Don't worry about wasting
shots— there's a full case of clips. As soon as you see him, blaze away
like mad. Use it like a hose if you have to."
"Somebody go wake Chris," Bennington said. "He should have les-
sons too. Doris, go knock on his door like a good girl."
Doris nodded and went upstairs. "Now this stud here," Newciiffe
said, "is the fire-control button. You put it in this position and the gun
will fire one shot and reload. Put it here and you have to reload it your-
self like any rifle. Put it here and it goes into automatic operation, firing
every shell in the clip, one after the other."
"Thunder !" James said admiringly. "We could stand off an army."
"Wait a minute— there seem to be two missing."
"Those are all you unpacked," Bennington said.
"Yes but there were two older models of my own. I never used 'em
because it didn't seem right to hunt with such a cannon. But I got 'em
out last night on account of this trouble."
"Oh," Bennington said with an air of sudden enlightenment. "I thought
that thing I had looked odd. I slept with one last night, I think Lund-
gren has another."
"Where is Lundgren ? Doris should have had him up by now. Go see,
Bennington, and get that gun."
"Isn't there a lot of recoil ?" Foote asked.
"Sure. These are really meant to operate from bipods. Hold the gun
at your hip, not your shoulder — what's that?'
"Bennington's voice," Foote said, suddenly tense. "Something must be
wrong with Doris." The four of them clattered for the stairs.
They found Doris at Bennington's feet in front of Lundgren' s open
door. Evidently she had fainted without a sound. The critic was in the
process of being very sick. On Lundgren's bed lay a crimson horror.
The throat was ripped out and the face and all the soft parts of the
body had been eaten away. The right leg had been gnawed in one place
all the way to the bone, which gleamed white and polished in the reassur-
There Shall Be No Darkness
FOOTE STOOD IN THE LIVING ROOM by the piano in
the full glare of all the electric lights. He hefted the B. A. R. and surveyed
the remainder of his companions, who were standing in a puzzled group
"No," he said, "I don't like that. 1 don't want you all bunched to-
gether. String out in a line, in front of me, so I can see everybody."
He grinned briefly. "Got the drop on you, didn't I? Not a rifle in
sight. Of course, there's the big candlestick behind you, Newcliffe, but I
can shoot quicker than you can club me." His voice grew ugly. "And I
will, if you make it necessary. So I would advise everybody— including
the women — not to make any sudden moves."
"What is this all about, Paul?" Bennington demanded angrily. "As
if things aren't bad enough ! "
"You'll see directly. Now line up the way I told you. Qiiick!" He
moved the gun suggestively. "And remember what I said about sudden
moves. It may be dark outside but I didn't turn on all the lights for
Quietly the line formed and the eyes that looked at Foote were narrow-
ed with suspicion of madness — or worse.
"Good. Now we can talk comfortably. You see, after what happened
to Chris I'm not taking any chances. Thatwas partly his fault and partly
mine. But the gods allow no one to err twice in matters like this. He paid
a ghastly price for his second error — a price I don't intend to pay or to
see anyone else here pay."
"Would you honor us with an explanation of this error?" Newcliffe
"Yes. I don't blame you for being angry, Tom, since I'm your guest.
But you see I'm forced to treat you all alike for the moment. I was fond
There was silence for a moment, then a thin indrawing of breath from
Bennington. "You were fond— my Lord !" he whispered raggedly. "What
do you mean ?"
"I mean that Lundgren was not killed by Jarmoskowski," Foote said
coldly and deliberately. "He was killed by someone else. Another
werewolf. One who is standing before me at this moment."
A concerted gasp went up.
"Surprised? But it's true. The error for which Chris paid so dearly,
which I made too, was this— we forgot to examine everybody for injuries
MAGAZINE OF HORROR
after the encounter with Jan. We forgot one of the cardinal laws ot" ly-
"A man who survives being bitten by a werewolf himself becomes a
werewolf. That's how the disease is passed on. The pincarin in the saliva
gets in the blood-stream, stimulates the victim's own pineal gland and — "
"But nobody was bitten, Paul," Doris said in a reasonable voice.
"Somebody was, lighdy. None of you but Chris and myself could
know about the bite-infection. Evidently somebody got a few small scrat-
ches, didn't think them worth mentioning, put iodine on them and forgot
them — until it was too late."
There were slow movements in the line— heads turning surreptiously,
eyes glancing nervously at persons to left and right.
"Once the attack occurred," Foote said relendessly, "Chris was the
logical first victim. The expert, hence the most dangerous enemy. I wish
I had thought of this before lunch. I might have seen which one of you
was uninterested in his lunch. In any event Chris' safeguards against
letting Jarmoskowski in also keep you from getting out. You won't leave
this room ever again."
He gritted his teeth and brought himself back into control. "All rights"
he said. "This is the showdown. Everybody hold up both hands in plain
Almost instantly there was a ravening wolf in the room.
Only Foote, who could see at a glance the order of the people in the
line, knew who it was. The frightful tragedy of it struck him such a blow
that the gun dropped nervelessly from his hands. He wept convulsively.
The monster lunged for his throat like a reddish projectile.
Newcliffe's hand darted back, grasped the candlestick. He leapt for-
ward in a swift, catlike motion and brought it down across the werewolf s
side. Ribs burst with a horrible splintering sound. The beast spun, snarl-
ing with agony. Newcliffe hit it again across the backbone. It fell, scream-
ing, fangs slashing the air.
Three times, with concentrated viciousness, Newcliffe struck at its head.
Then it cried out once in an almost familiar voice— and died.
Slowly the cells of its body groped back toward their natural posi-
tions. The awful crawling metamorphosis was never completed. But the
hairy- haunched thing with the crushed skull which sprawled at Newcliffe' s
feet was recognizable.
It had been Caroline Newcliffe.
There was a frozen tableau of wax figures in the yellow lamplight.
Tears coursed along Foote' s palms, dropped from under them, fell si-
There Shall Be No Darkness
lently to the carpet. After awhile he dropped his hands. Bennington's
face was gray with illness but rigidly expressionless like a granite statue.
James' back was against the wall. He watched the anomalous corpse as if
waiting for some new movement.
As lor Newcliffe he had no expression at all. He merely stood where
he was, the bloody candlestick held loosely in a limp hand.
His eyes were quite empty.
After a moment Doris walked over to Newcliffe and touched his shoul-
der compassionately. The contact seemed to let something out of him. He
shrank visibly into himself, shoulders slumping, his whole body withering
visibly into a dry husk.
The candlestick thumped against the floor, rocked wildly on its base,
toppled across the body. As it struck, Foote's cigarette butt, which had
somehow remained in it all day, tumbled out and rolled crazily along the
"Tom," Doris said softly. "Come away now. There's nothing you can
"Blood," he said emptily. "She had a cut. On her hand. Handled
the scrapings from the trap — my trap. I did it. Just a breadknife cut from
making canapes. I did it."
"No you didn't. Tom. Let's get some rest." She took his hand. He
followed her obediently, stumbling a little as his blood- spattered shoes
scuffed over the thick rug, his breath expelling from his lungs with a
soft whisper. The two disappeared up the stairs.
Bennington bolted for the kitchen sink.
Foote sat down on the piano bench, his worn face taut with dried tears,
and picked at the dusty keys. The lightly-struck notes aroused James. He
crossed the room and looked down at Foote.
"You did well," the novelist said Shakily. "Don't condemn yourself,
Foote nodded. He felt — nothing. Nothing at all.
"Yes. I suppose so." He got up from the bench. Together they carried
the tragic corpse out through the house to the greenhouse.
"We should leave her here," Foote said with a faint return of his old
irony. "Here's where the wolfbane bloomed and started the whole busi-
"Poetic justice, I suppose." James said. "But I don't think it's wise.
Tom has a tool. shed at the other end that isn't steam heated. It should
be cold enough."
MAGAZINE OF HORROR
Gently they placed the body on the cement floor, laying some gunny-
sacks under it. "In the morning," Foote said, "we can have someone
come for her."
"How about legal trouble?" James said, frowning. "Here's a woman
whose skull has been crushed with a blunt instrument — "
"I think I can get Lundgren's priest to help us there," Foote said som-
berly. "They have some authority to make death certificates in this state.
Besides, James— is that a woman ? Inarguably it isn't Caroline."
James looked sidewise at the hairy, contorted haunches. "Yes. It's—
legally it's nothing. I see your point."
Together they went back into the house. "Jarmoskowski ?" James
"Not tonight. We're all too tired and sick. And we do seem to be safe
enough in here. Chris saw to that."
Whatever James had to say in reply was lost in the roar of an auto-
matic rifle somewhere over their heads, exhausting its shots in a quick
stream. After a moment there was another burst of ten. Footsteps echoed.
Then Bennington came bouncing down the stairs.
"Watch out tonight," he panted. "He's around. I saw him come out of
the woods in wolf form. I emptied the clip but missed and he went back
again. I sprayed another ten rounds around where T saw him go in but
I don't think I hit him."
"Where were you shooting from ?"
"The top of the tower." His face was very grim. "Went up for a last
look around and there he was. I hope he comes tonight, I want to be the
one who kills him."
"How is Tom?"
"Bad. Doesn't seem to know where he is or what he's doing. Well,
goodnight. Keep your eyes peeled."
James nodded and followed him upstairs. Foote remained in the empty
room a lew minutes longer, looking thoughtfully at the splotch of blood
on the priceless Persian carpet. Then he felt of his face and throat, looked
at his hands, arms and legs, inside his shirt. Not so much as a scratch
—Tom had seen that.
So hard not to hate these afflicted people, so impossible to remember
that lycanthropy was a disease like any other ! Caroline, like the man in
The Red Laugh, had been noble-hearted and gentle and had wished no
one evil. Yet-
Maybe God is on the side of the werewolves.
The blasphemy of an exhausted mind. Yet he could not put it from
There Shall Be No Darkness
him. Suppose Jarmoskowski should conquer his compulsion and lie out
of sight until the seven days were over. Then he could disappear. It was
a big country. It would not be necessary for him to kill all his victims-
just those he actually needed for food. But he could nip a good many.
Every other one, say.
And from wherever he lived the circle of lycanthropy would grow and
widen and engulf—
Maybe God had decided that proper humans had made a mess of
running the world, had decided to give the nosferatu, the undead, a
chance at it. Perhaps the human race was on the threshold of that dark-
ness into which he had looked throughout last night.
He ground his teeth and made an exasperated noise. Shock and
exhaustion would drive him as crazy as Newcliffe if he kept this up.
He went around the room, making sure that all the windows were
tightly closed and the crucifixes in place, turning out the lights as he
went. The garlic was getting rancid— it smelled like mercaptan — but he
was too tired to replace it. He clicked out the last light, picked up the
candlestick and went out into the hall.
As he passed Doris' room, he noticed that the door was ajar. Inside
two voices murmured. Remembering what he had heard before he stopped
It was years later that Foote found out exactly what had happened at
the very beginning. Doris, physically exhausted by the hideous events of
the day, emotionally drained by tending the childlike Newcliffe, feeding
him from a spoon and seeing him into bed, had fallen asleep almost
It was a sleep dreamless except for a vague, dull undercurrent of
despair. When the light tapping against the window-panes finally reached
her consciousness she had no idea how long she had slumbered.
She struggled to a sitting position and forced her eyelids up. Across
the room the moonlight, gleaming in patches against the rotting snow
outside, glared through the window. Silhouetted against it was a tall
human figure. She could not see its face but there was no mistaking the
red glint of the eyes. She clutched for the rifle and brought it awkwardly
Jarmoskowski did not dodge. Hemoved his arms out a litde way away
from his body, palms forward in a gesture that looked almost supplicat-
ing, and waited. Indecisively she lowered the gun again. Was he inviting
MAGAZINE OF HORROR
As she lowered the weapon she saw that the stud was in the continuous-
fire position and carefully she shifted it to repeat. She was afraid of the
recoil Newcliffe had mentioned, felt surer of her target if she could throw
one shot at a time at it.
Jarmoskowski tapped again and motioned with his finger. Reasoning
that he would come in if he were able, she took time out to get into her
housecoat. Then, holding her finger against the trigger, she went to the
window. It was closed tightly and a crucifix, suspended from
a silk thread, hung exactly in the center of it. She checked it, and then
opened one of the small panes directly above Jarmoskowski's head.
"Hello, Doris," he said softly.
"Hello," She was more uncertain than afraid. Was this actually hap-
pening or just the recurrent nightmare? "What do you want? I should
shoot you. Can you tell me why I shouldn't ?"
"Yes I can. Otherwise I wouldn't have risked exposing myself. That's
a nasty-looking weapon."
"There are ten silver bullets in it."
"I know it. I've seen Brownings before. I would be a good target for
you too, so I have no hope of escape- my nostrils are full of rosemary."
He smiled ruefully. "And Lundgren and Caroline are dead and I am
responsible. I deserve to die. That is why I am here."
"You'll get your wish, Jan," she said. "You have some other reason,
I know. I will back my wits againstyours. I want to ask you questions."
"You have your evening clothes on. Paul said they changed with you.
How is that possible ?"
"But a wolf has clothes," Jarmoskowski said. "He is not naked like
a man. And surely Chris must have spoken of the effect of the pineal
upon the cell radiogens. These little bodies act upon any organic matter,
including wool or cotton. When I change my clothes change with me.
I can hardly say how, for it is in the blood, like musicianship. Either
you can or you can't. But they change."
His voice took on a darkly somber tone. "Lundgren was right through-
out. This werewolfery is now nothing but a disease. It is not pro-survival.
Long ago there must have been a number of mutations which brought
the pineal gland into use.
"None of them survived but the werewolves and these are dying.
Someday the pineal will come into better use and all men will be able
to modify their forms without this terrible madness as a penalty. For
us, the lycanthropes, the failures, nothing is left.
There Shall Be No Darkness
"It is not good for a man to wander from country to country, know-
ing that he is a monster to his fellow-men and cursed eternally by his
God — if he can claim a God. I went through Europe, playing the piano
and giving pleasure, meeting people, making friends — and always, sooner
or later, there were whisperings, and strange looks and dawning horror.
"And whether I was hunted down for the beast I was or whether there
was merely a vague gradually-growing revulsion, they drove me out.
Hatred, silver bullets, crucifixes — they are all the same in the end.
"Sometimes, I could spend several months without incident in some
one place and my life would take on a veneer of normality. I could at-
tend to my music and have people about me that I liked and be— hu-
man. Then the wolfbane bloomed and the pollen freighted the air and
when the moom shone down on" that flower my blood surged with the
thing 1 have within me.
"And then I made apologies to my friends and went north to Sweden,
where Lundgren was and where spring was much later. I loved him and
I think he missed the truth about me until night before last. I was careful.
"Once or twice I did not go North and then the people who had been
my friends would be hammering silver behind my back and waiting for
me in dark corners. After years of this tew places in Europe would have
me. With my reputation as a musician spread darker rumors.
"Towns I had never visited closed their gates to me without a word.
Concert halls were booked up too many months in advance for me to use
them, inns and hotels were filled indefintely, people were too busy to'talk
to me, to listen to my playing, to write me any letters.
"T have been in love. That — I cannot describe.
"And then I came to this country. Here no one believes in the werewolf.
I sought scientific help — not from Lundgren, because I was afraid I should
do him some harm. But here I thought someone Would know enough to
deal with what I had become.
"It was not so. The primitive hatred of my kind lies at the heart of the
human as it lies at the heart of the dog. There was no help for me.
"I am here to ask for an end to it."
Slow tears rolled over Doris' cheeks. The voicefaded away indefinitely.
It did not seem to end at all but rather to retreat into some limbo where
men could not hear it. Jarmoskowski stood silently in the moonlight, his
eyes burning bloodily, a somber sullen scarlet.
Doris said, "Jan — Jan, I am sorry, I am so sorry. What can I do ?"
MAGAZINE OF HORROR
The girl was crying uncontrollably. "Jan, don't. I can't. You know I
can't. Go way, please go away."
Jarmoskowski said, "Then come with me, Doris. Open the window
and come with me."
"Does it matter ? You have denied me the death I ask. Would you
deny me this last desperate love, would you deny your own love, your
own last and deepest desire ? It is too late now, too late for you to pre-
tend revulsion. Come with me."
He held out his hands.
"Say goodbye," he said. "Goodbye to these self-righteous humans. I
will give you of my blood and we will range the world, wild and un-
controllable, the last of our race. They will remember us, I promise
"I am here. Come now."
Like a somnambulist she swung the panes out. Jarmoskowski did not
move but looked first at her, then at the crucifix. She lifted one end of
the thread and let the little thing tinkle to the floor.
"After us there shall be no darkness comparable to our darkness,"
Jarmoskowski said. "Let them rest - let the world rest."
He sprang into the room with so sudden, so feral a motion that he
seemed hardly to have moved at all. From the doorway the automatic
rifle yammered with demoniac ferocity. The impact of the slugs hurled
Jarmoskowski back against the wall. Foote lowered the smoking muzzle
and took one step into the room.
"Too late, Jan,!' he said stonily.
Doris wailed like a litde girl awakened from a dream. Jarmoskwski's
lips moved but there was not enough left of his lungs. The effort to speak
brought a bloody froth to his mouth. He stpod for an instant, stretched
out a hand toward the girl. Then the fingers clenched convulsively and
the long body folded.
He smiled, put aside that last of all his purposes and died.
by Qajpia'in C^reJericlc Qflarrayal
This concluding episode from a longer story can stand by itself, we
feel; CAPTAIN FREDERICK MARRAYAT (1792-1848) is mostly noted
for sea stories, but he did some weird tales as well. Perhaps some reader
can tell us whether the present tale is the earliest use in English fiction of
the legend of the Flying Dutchman.
A BANK OF CLOUDS ROSE UP FROM THE EASTWARD,
with a rapidity that to the seamen's eyes was unnatural, and it soon
covered the whole firmament; the sun was obscured, and all was one
deep and unnatural gloom; the wind subsided; and the ocean was hushed.
It was not exactly dark, but the heavens were covered with one red haze,
which gave an appearance as if the world was in a state of conflagration.
In the cabin the increased darkness was first observed by Philip, who
went on deck; he was followed by the captain and passengers, who were
in a state of amazement. It was unnatural and incomprehensive.
"Now, Holy Virgin, protect us! what can this be?" exclaimed the
captain, in a fright. "Holy Saint Antonio, protect us ! but this is awful."
"There— there!" shouted the sailors, pointing to the beani of the
vessel. Every eye looked over the gunnel to witness what had occasioned
such exclamations. Philip, Schriften, and the captain were side-by-side.
On the beam of the ship, not more than two cables' length distant, they
MAGAZINE OF HORROR
beheld slowly rising out of the water the tapering masthead and spars
of another vessel. She rose, and rose, gradually; her top-masts and top-
sail yards, with the sails set, next made their appearance; higher and
higher she rose up from the element. Her lower masts and rigging, and,
lasty, her hull showed itself above the surface. Still she rose up, till her
ports, with her guns, and at last the whole of her floatage was above
water, and there she remained close to them, with her main yard squared,
and hove to.
"Holy Virgin!" exclaimed the captain, breathless. "I have known
ships to go down, but never to come u/> before. Now will I give one
thousand candles, of ten ounces each, to the shrine of the Virgin, to save
us in this trouble. One thousand wax candles ! Hear me, blessed lady,
ten ounces each! Gentlemen," cried the captain to the passengers, who
stood aghast, "why don't you promise ?— promise, I say promise, at all
"The Phantom Ship — the Flying Dutchman," shrieked Schriften. "I
told you so, Philip Vanderdecken. There is your father. He, he !"
Philip's eyes had remained fixed on the vessel; he perceived that they
were lowering down a boat from her quarter. "It is possible," thought
he, "I shall now be permitted," and put his hand into his bosom and
grasped the relic.
The gloom now increased, so that the strange vessel's hull could but
just be discovered through the murky atmosphere. The seamen and
passengers threw themselves down on their knees, and invoked their
saints. The captain ran down for a candle, to light before the image of
St. Antonio, which he took out of its shrine and kissed with much ap-
parent affection and devotion, and then replaced.
No one answered, or complied with the request. Schriften only went
up to the captain, and told him that if they offered to send letters they
must not be received, or the vessel would be doomed, and all would
A man now made his appearance from over the gunnel, at the gang-
way. "You might as well have let me have a side- rope, my hearties,"
said he, as he stepped on deck. "Where is the captain ?"
"Here," replied the captain, trembling from head to foot. The man who
accosted him appeared a weather-beaten seaman, dressed in a fur cap
and canvas petticoats; he held some letters in his hand.
"What do you want ?" at last screamed the captain.
The Phantom Ship
"Yes— what do you want ?" continued Schriften. "He ! he !"
"What, you here, pilot?" observed the man. "Well— I thought you
had gone to Davy's locker long enough ago."
"He ! he !" replied Schriften, turning away.
"Why, the fact is, captain, we have had very foul weather, and we
wish to send letters home; I do believe that we shall never get round this
"I can't take them," cried the captain.
"Can't take them! well, it's very odd, but every ship refuses to take
our letters. It's very unkind; seamen should have a feeling for brother sea-
men, especially in distress. God knows, we wish to see our wives and
families again; and it would be a matter of comfort to them if they only
could hear from us."
"I cannot take your letters — the saints preserve us!" replied the cap-
"We have been a long while out," said the seaman, shaking his head.
"How long ?" inquired the captain, not knowing what to say.
"We can't tell; our almanack was blown overboard, and we have lost
our reckoning. We never have our latitude exact now, for we cannot tell
the sun's declination for the right day."
"Let me see your letters," said Philip, advancing and taking them out
of the seaman's hands.
"They must not be touched," screamed Schriften.
"Out, monster ! " replied Philip, "who dares interfere with me?"
"Doomed — doomed — doomed!" shrieked Schriften, running up and
down the deck, and then breaking into a wild fit of laughter.
"Touch not the letters," said the captain, tremblingas if in an ague fit.
Philip made no reply, but held his hand out for the letters.
"Here is one from our second mate to his wife at Amsterdam, who lives
on Waser Quay."
"Waser Quay has long been gone, my good friend; there is now a
large dock for ships where it once was," replied Philip.
"Impossible!" replied the man. "Here is another from the boatswain
to his father, who lives in the old market-place."
"The old market-place has long been pulled down, and there now
stands a church upon the spot."
"Impossible!" replied the seaman. "Here is another from myself to
my sweetheart, Vrow Ketser— with money to buy her a new brooch."
Philip shook his head. "I remember seeing an old lady of that name
buried some thirty years ago."
MAGAZINE OF HORROR
"Impossible! I left her young and blooming. Here's one for the house
of Slutz and Co., to whom the ship belongs."
"There's no such house now," replied Philip, "but I have heard that,
many years ago, there was a firm of that name."
"Impossible! you must be laughing at me. Here is a. letter from our
captain to his son — "
"Give it me," cried Philip, seizing the letter.
lie was about to break the seal, when Schriften snatched it out of his
hand, and threw it over the lee gunnel.
"That 1 s a scurvy trick for an old shipmate," observed the seaman.
Schriften made no reply, but catching up the other letters, which Philip
had laid down on the capstan, he hurled them after the first. The strange
seaman shed tears, and walked again to the side.
"It's very hard — very unkind," observed he, as he descended; "the time
may come when you may wish that your family should know your situ-
So saying, he disappeared. In a few seconds was heard the sound of
the oars, retreating from the ship.
"Holy Saint Antonio!" excalimed the captain. "I am lost in wonder
and fright. Stewart, bring me up the arrack."
The steward ran down for the bottle; being so much alarmed as his
captain, he helped himself before he brought it up to his commander.
"Now," said the captain, after keeping his mouth for two minutes to
the bottle, and draining it to the bottom, "what is to be done next?"
"I'll tell you," said Schriften, going up to him. "That man there has a
charm hung round his neck. Take it from him, and throw it overboard
and your ship will be saved. If not, it will be lost with every soul on
"Yes, yes, it's all right, depend upon it," cried the sailors.
"Fools !" replied Philip, "do you believe that wretch ? Did you not hear
the man who came on board recognize him, and call him shipmate?
He is the party whose presence on board will prove so unfortunate."
"Yes, yes," cried the sailors, "it's all right; the man did call him ship-
"I tell you it's all wrong," cried Schriften. "That is the man. Let him
give up the charm."
"Yes, yes; let him give up the charm," cried the sailors, and they rush-
ed upon Philip.
Philip started back to where the captain stood. "Madmen, know ye
what ye are about ? It is the holy cross that I wear round my neck.
The Phantom Ship 45
Throw it overboard if you dare, and your souls are lost for ever," and
he took the relic from his bosom and showed it to the captain.
"No, no, men," exclaimed the captain, who was now more setded in
his nerves, "that won't do — the saints protect us."
The seamen, however, became clamorous; one portion were for throw-
ing Schriften overboard, the other for throwing Philip. At last, the point
was decided by the captain, who directed the small skiff hanging astern
to be lowered down, and ordered both Philip and Schriften to get into it.
The seamen approved of this arrangement, as it satisfied both parties.
Philip made no objection; Schriften screamed and fought, but he was
tossed into the boat. There he remained trembling in the stern-sheets,
while Philip, who had seized the sculls, pulled away from the vessel in
the direction of the Phantom Ship.
In a few minutes, the vessel which Philip and Schriften had left was
no longer to be discerned through the thick haze; the Phantom Ship was
still in sight, but at a much greater distance from them than she was be-
fore. Philip pulled hard towards her, but although hove to, she appeared
to increase her distance from the boat. For a short time he paused on his
oars, to regain his breath, when Schriften rose up and took his seat in
the stern-sheets of the boat.
"You may pull and pull, Philip Vanderdecken," observed he, "but
you will not gain that ship. No, no, that cannot be. We may have a
long cruise together, but you will be as tar from your object at the end
of it, as you are now at commencement. Why don't you throw me over-
board again ? You would be all the lighter. He ! he ! "
"I threw you overboard in a state of frenzy," replied Philip, "when
you attempted to force from me my relic. "
"And have I not endeavoured to make others take it from you this
very day ? Have I not ? He ! he ! "
"You have," rejoined Philip, "but I am now convinced that you are
an unhappy as myself, and that in what you are doing, you are only
following your destiny, as I am mine. Why and wherefore I cannot tell,
but we are both engaged in the same mystery; if the success of my en-
deavours depends upon guarding the relic, the success of yours depends
upon your obtaining it, and defeating my purpose by so doing. In this
matter we are both agents, and you have been, as far as my mission is
concerned, my most active enemy. But, Schriften, I have not forgotten/,
and never will, that you kindly did advise my poor Amine; that you
prophesied to her what would be her fate, if she did not listen to your
counsel; that you were no enemy of hers, although you have been and
MAGAZINE OF HORROR
are still mine. Although my enemy, lor her sake I forgive you, and will
not attempt to harm you."
"You do then forgive your enemy, Philip Vanderdecken ? " replied
Schriften, mournfully, "for such I acknowledge myself to be."
"I do, with all my heart, with all my soul," replied Philip.
"Then have you conquered me, Philip Vanderdecken; you have now
made me your friend, and your wishes are about to be accomplished.
You would know who I am. Listen. When your father, defying the Al-
mighty's will, in his rage took my life, he was vouchsafed a chance of
his doom being cancelled, through the merits of his son. I had also my
appeal, which was for vengeance. It was granted that I should remain
on Earth, and thwart your will. That as long as we were enemies, you
should not succeed; but that when you had conformed to the highest
attribute ot Christianity, proved on the holy cross, that of forgiving your
enemy, your task should be fulfilled. Philip Vanderdecken, you have
forgiven your enemy, and both our destinies are now accomplished."
As Schriften spoke, Philip's eyes were fixed on him. He extended his
hand to Philip— it was taken; and as it was pressed, the form of the
pilot wasted as it were into the air, and Philip found himself alone.
"Father of mercy, I thank thee," said Philip, "that my task is done,
and that I again may meet my Amine."
Philip then pulled towards the Phantom Ship, and found that she no
longer appeared to leave: on the contrary, every minute he was nearer
and nearer, and, at last, he threw in his oars, climbed up her side and
gained her deck.
The crew of the vessel crowded round him.
"Your captain," said Philip, "I must speak with your captain."
"Who shall I say, sir?" demanded one who appeared to be the" first
"Who?" replied Philip. "Tell him his son would speak to him, his
son, Philip Vanderdecken."
Shouts of laughter from the crew followed this answer of Philip's;
and the mate, as soon as they ceased, observed, with a smile, "You
forget, sir; perhaps you would say his father."
"Tell him his son, if you please," replied Philip. "Take no note of
"Well, sir, here he is coming forward," replied the mate, stepping
aside, and pointing to the captain.
"What is all this ?" inquired the captain.
"Are you Philip Vanderdecken, the captain of this vessel ?"
The Phantom Ship 47
"I am, sir," replied the other.
"You appear not to know me! But how can you? You saw me but
when I was. only three years old; yet may you remember a letter which
you gave to your wife. ' '
"Ha !" replied the captain; "and who, then, are you ?"
"Time has stopped with you, but with those who live in the world
he stops not; and for those who pass a life of misery, he hurries on still
faster. In me behold your son, Philip Vanderdecken, who has obeyed
your wishes; and, after a life of such peril and misery as few have passed,
has at last fulfilled his vow, and now offers to his father the precious
relic that he required to kiss. ' '
Philip drew out the relic, and held it towards his father. As if a flash
of lightning had passed through his mind, the captain of the vessel
started back, clasped his hands, fell on his knees, and wept.
"My son, my son!" exclaimed he, rising and throwing himself into
Philip's arms; "my eyes are opened - the Almighty knows how long they
have been obscured."
Embracing each other, they walked aft, away from the men, who were
still crowded at the gangway.
"My son, my noble son, before the charm is broken— before we re-
solve, as we must, into the elements, oh ! let me kneel in thanksgiving
and contrition; my son, my noble son, receive a father's thanks," ex-
claimed Vanderdecken. Then with tears of joy and penitence he humbly
addressed himself to that Being whom he once so awfully detied.
The elder Vanderdecken knelt down; Philip did the same; still embrac-
ing each other with one arm, while they raised on high the other, and
For the last time the relic was taken from the bosom of Philip and
handed to his father — and his father raised his eyes to heaven and kissed
it. And as he kissed it, the long tapering upper spars ol the Phantom
vessel, the yards and sails that were set, fell into dust, fluttered in the
air, and sank upon the wave. The mainmast, foremast, bowsprit, every-
thing above the deck, crumbled into atoms and disappeared.
Again he raised the relic to his lips, and the work of destruction con-
tinued—the heavy iron guns sank through the decks and disappeared;
the crew of the vessel (who were looking on) crumbled down into skele-
tons, and dust, and fragments of ragged garments; and there were none
left on board the vessel in the semblance of life but the father and son.
Once more did he put the sacred emblem to his lips, and the beams
and timbers separated, the decks of the vessel slowly sank, and the
MAGAZINE OF HORROR
remnants of the hull floated upon the water; and as the father and son —
the one young and vigorous, the other old and decrepit— still kneeling,
still embracing, with their hands raised to heaven, sank slowly under the
deep blue wave, the lurid sky was for a moment illuminated by a light-
Then did the clouds which obscured the heavens roll away swift as
thought — the sun again burst out in all its splendor— the rippling waves
appeared to dance with joy. The screaming sea-gull again whirled in the
air, and the scared albatross once more slumbered on the wing. The
porpoise tumbled and tossed in his sportive play, the albicore and dol-
phin leaped from the sparkling sea. All nature smiled as if it rejoiced that
the charm was dissolved tor ever, and that the Phantom Ship was no
Only once before in MOH's career has a story been put in first place
on the first ballot received, and got enough high votes so that
we had an unbroken line of "l"s (encircled in blue so I can tell at a
glance who is in the lead at any particular time) straight across the sheet
Not that every voter put this story in first place, but rather that the
"outstanding" votes more than made up, in the scoring, for those of you
who rated it lower; and one voter disliked it, so that I see -a single red
mark on the sheet. The other story which had this distinction was Edmond
Hamilton's Monster of Mamurth. But our present author maintained
his lead with approximately one-third again as many ballots coming in.
To end the suspense, then, here, are the finals:
(1) The Abyss (part one), David H. Keller, M.D.; (2) Leapers, Robert
A. W. Lowndes; (3) The Thirteenth Floor, Douglas M. Dold; (4) The
Death Mask, Mrs. H. D. Everett; (5) One by One, Richard M. Hodgens.
A half dozen readers thought the Finlay cover too sexy, but a sub-
stantial majority approved. And, once again, every story received at least
one first place vote and at least one tomato. •
o u s s e a u
After an eleven-installment series, dealing with the psychic adven-
tures of Dr. Ivan Brodsky, which ran in WEIRD TALES from
September 1926 to July 1927, VICTOR ROUSSEAU was not seen
with weird Action again until 1931, in the second issue of STRANGE
TALES. You applauded his long novelet, The Curse of Amen-Ra,
which appeared in the sixth issue of ST (and #19, January 1968
MOH); here is the earlier and shorter tale. Both just add reason for
regrets that the life of Clayton's weird fiction venture was so short.
"MEEST MAITLAND HIM COME SOON. Him say tor you
to wait," said the grave Indian boy who opened the door to us.
He led the way up two flights of stairs and ushered us into the long
room that was Francis Maidand's own museum. It was in darkness,
but with a soft, sibilant apology, the Indian youth switched on the lights.
They hung at intervals all along the room, disclosing Maitland's tro-
phies—the stone figures that he had dug out of the pyramid of Xoctli,
the inscribed lava blocks that had proved veritable stumbling-blocks to
philogists the world over, the stone calendar and sun dial showing the
Mayan astronomical year, show-cases filled with ancient jewelry, and
safes in which reposed still more valuable finds.
(Copyright 1931 by The Clayton Magazines, Inc., lot STRANGE
TALES, November; by permission of Forrest J. Ackerman.)
MAGAZINE OF HORROR
The museum occupied the second story of the old house in Bronx-
ville. Maidand, who was a bachelor of forty-five, owned the building,
and resided there in the rare periods when he was back in the United
States after one of his exploring trips in Central America. Reserved,
scholarly and retiring, totally unknown to the public at large, Maidand
was the world's leading authority on the Mayan civilization in 1931.
I was one of his few intimates, if the word could be used, and our
association dated back to our schooldays. For all that, we met seldom,
and 1 had only been in the museum twice before.
Adachi, the slim, spectacled Japanese, had made a special journey
from Yokohama to see the results of Maitland's latest Guatemalan ex-
pedition, and I had met him at his hotel, at Maitland's own suggestion,
to bring him around. I had found Felix Garth with Adachi, and both
men had been extremely reticent.
Of course I knew Garth by reputation. He was the only American
Member of the Institut Metapsychique of Paris, and an authority on
ectoplasm, materializations, paraffin, ghost-gloves and astral cantilevers.
Since Maitland had always struck me as a well-balanced individual, I
had wondered what Garth was doing with Adachi, for he evidendy ex-
pected to accompany us.
Adachi, peered after the youth's departing form. "That fellow is a
Mayan," he said. "Unmistakably so. Our friend must have brought him
back with him from Central America."
A door opened at the other end of the museum, and Maitland came
forward. He was wearing evening clothes; he had grown a brown, peak-
ed beard since I had last seen him, and he looked handsomer, more
virile— I might say more primitive— a fine figure of a man in early
middle life. He greeted us warmly as I presented my companions, and
I saw him shoot a glance of quick surmise at Garth. It was evident
that Adachi had brought Garth with him at Maidand's own suggestion;
there must have been some correspondence. Garth hadn't just crashed
There followed a few moments of desultory conversation. "Yes, I've
been back two months," said Maitland, "but I've been very busy. My
trophies are still on their way, all except the one I'm going to show you.
I brought it back on the same ship with me— wouldn't trust it on any
other. Either we'd land in New York together, or we'd go down together."
He laughed in a strange, embarrassed way. I saw Garth glance at
him sharply for a moment, as he had previously glanced at Garth. Then
and there I knew that Maidand had been in communication with Garth
When Dead Gods Wake SI
about the trophy, whatever it was. But Maitland was already leading
the way toward the farther end of the room.
"There it is," he said, with a wave of his hand.
What I saw was one of those single blocks of stone with the upper
part crudely carved into the representation of a human face, and hiero-
glyphics below — a Mayan idol, such as may be seen in most of the large
museums. The face had the customary leer that primitive Mayan art
shows, something at once murderous and cheap, as if an East Side
gangster had liberated his soul in sculpture. This was just one of the
repulsive gods the race had worshipped.
In front of this block, and forming part of it, was another mass of
stone, about as large, but square instead of oblong, and reaching to
the middle of the idol's body. Two roughly carven hands rested upon
it, and it was hollowed upon the surface into a sort of shallow bowl,
with three channels in it.
"A Mayan sacrificial stone," said Adachi as if to signify that he
saw nothing remarkable about it.
Maitland pointed to the hieroglyphics carved into its base. "I have
hopes," he answered, "that this will solve the mystery of the Mayan
language. Some of these symbols are identical with those that were in-
terpreted by Father Ignatius Gomez in the seventeenth century. You
have seen his book in the Vatican ? If I am right, this stone provides
the key that will unlock many secrets of the Mayan civilization."
His words were impressive; but then he laughed in that embarrassed
And then, in the light from the electric bulb that hung over the stone
block, I saw that Maitland was, in some indescribable way, changed.
Something had happened to him in the Guatemalan jungles. He had gone
out a matter-of-fact scientist, he had come back physically more virile,
more forceful, and yet mentally he was not quite the same.
The Indian youth came gliding into the light. He went up to Mait-
land and whispered something, and Maitland nodded. I had not seen the
Indian well before. Now I noticed that his face was an aristocratic one,
acquiline, dignified, completely self-possessed. And I was amazed to see
the ripple and play of muscle through the cotton singlet visible beneath
his open jacket. Slight as he looked, the boy was a tawny Hercules.
"Yes, stay here, Pophonoc," said Maitland. He turned to us three
again with his embarrassed laugh. "Pophonoc is anxiousabout the god,"
he said. "It's rather a curious story. I found this block at the head of
a flight of stone steps in an utter wilderness. It's a sacrificial stone, of
MAGAZINE OF HORROR
course, as you said, Mr. Adachi. The god is that of lightning and earth-
quakes, who had to be appeased every so often with the blood of a hu-
man being. He was also, as you know, the python god. Probably he had
to be fed whenever the half-tame pythons that the priests kept needed a
meal themselves. You can see the symbol, Kent," he added to me.
Suddenly, as if they had only that moment appeared, I saw the two
sculptured pythons, one on either side of the god's leering face. If the
god's face was crude, the two pythons were marvelously m.listic, from
the end of the undulating bodies to the cruel, venomous he; ds.
"Pophonoc was the only human being anywhere near," continued
Maitland. "So far as I was able to gather, he was the hereditary guar-
dian of the god. Probably the charge had descended from father to son
for several hundred years, and one of Pophonoc' s anscestors was the
last priest who actually performed the sacrifices. He made so much fuss
when I sought to remove the idol, that I brought him along with it, and
now he's quite contented."
Again came Maitland's strange embarrassed laugh.
Well, gentlemen," he continued, "what I have asked you here for
will sound like utter folly. But I happened to have some curious exper-
iences in the Guatemala jungles which rather shook me out of my mater-
ialistic scientific complacency. Pophonoc, as I told you, made such fuss
at being separated from the idol, that I had to bring him along as a sort
of compromise arrangement. He's made an excellent servant, but, since
he's picked up a little English, he's tried to explain just what a bad
mistake I made in bringing the god along with me.
"I'll pass over the horde of pythons that seemed to dog our foot-
steps all through the jungle, and the earthquake that rocked the port of
embarkation, though our hotel was knocked down flat, all except the
extension in which we were housed. I'm not superstitious. But a very
odd thing happened the other night. My dog, Ajax, is just a mongrel
that I've had ten years, and I'd been boarding him in Bronxville while
I was away. They got him ! "
Suddenly I realized that, for all his matter-of-fact way of speaking,
Maitland was laboring under intense emotion. There was a wild look
in his eyes, and his speech was labored.
"I sleep in a room off the museum," he continued, pointing toward
the door by which he had entered. "The dog slept on the floor beside
my bed. I had locked the door. I swear I'd locked it. I always do, from
force of habit. You have to in those tropical ports. When I awoke sud-
denly, Ajax was gone.
When Dead Gods Wake
"I switched on the light, looked about the room, unlocked the door
and came in here, much mystified. Gentlemen, my dog lay in this stone
bowl, every bone in his body not merely broken, but almost pulverized.
And only a python could have done that !"
He paused, then added, "Look at the stone pythons on the carved
block, gentlemen! One of them's had a meal! Look at it and see! It
was like the other before the dog was killed. It's swollen, swollen,
I looked again. It was perfecdy true that one of the pythons was
abnormally swollen midway along the sinuous stone body, while the other
retained the normal serpent shape. I hadn't noticed that before. But
Maitland's explanation was of course preposterous. And I'm a pretty
level-headed sort of man in the face of such things.
I looked back at Maitland and saw that he was laughing again.
Hut now I realized that that was not the laugh of a sane man.
Garth's voice broke the silence, "I may as well tell you, Mr! Kent,"
he addressed me, "that I have been in communication with Mr. Maidand
since his return. Our first meeting was accidental, but I was able to offer
him a certain line of investigation which he is inclined to follow. Mr.
Maitland wanted you, as an old friend, to be present, but he was un-
certain how you would regard the matter."
"I may as well reply," I said, "that I am not favorably inclined to-
ward spiritism. I am not so foolish as to deny that there is probably
a substratum of truth beneath some of those phenomena, but repeated
encounters with fraud disgusts me. Furthermore, whatever may be the
underlying causes of those phenomena which are true, I can approach
from the viewpoint of a scientist. That is to say, I should regard them
as demonstrating the existence of some unknown laws of nature."
Garth laid his hand on my shoulder. "Spoken like a man of science,
Ken,t," he answered. "Yours is exacdy the type of mind we need and so
rarely find. If you are not unwilling to participate in our seance tonight—"
"Seance?" I returned.
"The Indian, like all votaries of the priesthood among savage races,
is a medium. Now don't get on your high horse, Kent," Garth added,
smiling in a way that robbed his words of any offensiveness. "I mean
that he has the faculty of going into that cataleptic state which we call
trance. We can count you in ?"
"Surely," I answered, "if I may reserve my own conclusions. But is
the Indian willing to cooperate ?"
"He is more than willing," answered Garth. "He has been trying to
54 MAGAZINE OF HORROR
persuade Mr. Maitland to cooperate with him, but it is only recendy
that he has acquired enough English to make his wish understood."
"I hope you'll join us, Kent," said Maitland nervously. "I— I'm
counting on you, as an old friend. I — " He turned to Garth with a help-
less gesture. "Please take hill charge of the proceedings, Mr. Garth,"
Garth nodded, turned, and beckoned to Pophonoc, who had glided
up to our litde group. Pophonoc nodded. I was again struck by the boy's
air of dignity and self-repression.
Four chairs were brought and splaced in a semi-circle about the altar.
Pophonoc vanished and reappeared. He had cast off his western clothing
and wore nothing but a loin-cloth of some native material. And I had
not been mistaken in my estimate of his physical strength. His splendid
copper-colored body was one surge of rippling muscles.
"Did you ever see such a man, Mr. Garth?" I whispered. "He'd make
his fortune as a physical culture instructor."
Garth inclined his head slowly, but did not answer me. On my other
side, Adachi was bending forward, watching the Indian. Pophonoc had
fallen on his knees, and, with extended arms was invoking the stone idol
in his native language; in slow, rolling, sonorous syllables that, in spite
of my desire to remain unprejudiced, succeeded in creating a sense of awe
Then an extraordinary thing happened. As I said, Pophonoc had
worn nothing but a small loin-cloth, and yet, of a sudden, he held a
squawking fowl in his left hand, whicle his right held a sharp stone
sacrificial knife. He placed the bird on the stone bowl. It remained there,
silent now, head down, as if hypnotized. Pophonoc turned and spoke to
Maitland, who adressed us in strange, jerky tones.
"He asks for darkness and strict silence during the experiment," he
said. "Kent, will you take charge of the lights ? I have installed a switch
that controls them all. You'll see it hanging down beside the bowl."
I bent forward and saw a slender cord with a push-button in a han-
dle at the end. I picked it up. "Ready ?" I asked Maitland.
He nodded, and I pressed the button. Instandy all the lights in the
museum went out. We could see nothing now except the faint reflection
from the streets against the drawn shade at the end of the studio. We
could hear nothing except Pophonoc' s soft monologue, growing softer
and more broken, and terminated by the sudden thud of the knife against
the stone, and a frenzied flapping of wings.
Silence and darkness! I could barely seethe outlines of Adachi on my
When Dead Gods Wake 55
right and Garth on my left. I could not see Maitland at all. No sound
came from the stone altar. Yes, there was a sound, horrible in the dark-
ness: a steady, slow, dripping sound ... I wanted to press the button
again, but I had not the moral courage to confess my fears. I was await-
ing Garth's or Maitland's order.
And then, as I'sat there, a new and noxious odor began to penetrate
the room. It was something vile, something compounded of the stench of
a rain-drenched swamp and noisome bodies. A hot breath seemed to em-
anate from in front of me. imagination painted pictures in the darkness.
I seemed to see a dim form elongating in front of me. I heard a sound
now, a steady, rhythmic breathing, coming from the bowl. And suddenly
Garth's voice rang out sharply.
"The light, Kent ! The light ! The light !"
I heard him leave his chair. He bounded forward, and I heard the
sound of two bodies struggling. I grasped the handle of the cord and
pressed the button convulsively.
In front of the altar Garth was struggling with Maitland. Maitland's
eyes were closed, and he seemed asleep; the struggles of his body seemed
purely automatic ones. But in his hand he held the sacrificial knife, and
Garth's fingers were locked around his wrist.
Kneeling before the altar was the Indian. His eyes were closed, but
there was a smile of happiness upon his face, and his bare chest was
strained upward in a strange fashion. The fowl had disappeared from
the bowl, which was clean of blood.
Suddenly Maidand ceased struggling. He opened his eyes and looked
about him in a bewildered fashion, and at the same time Garth whipped
the knife out of his hand and hid it in his clothes. He led Maitland back
to his chair, where he sat, still dazed, and apparendy unaware of what
The Indian glided silently from before the altar and disappeared.
Suddenly Adachi uttered a low cry and pointed to the stone. I looked,
and my heart beat heavily in dread. Was it imagination, or was the body
of the second python now distended like that of the first ?
The events of that evening had upset us all. Maitland disclaimed any
recollection of what had happened at the seance; he insisted that it had
been uneventful, that he had been wide awake, and that no fowl had been
brought into the room. In the face of that attitude, there was nothing for
us to do but take our departure.
Two days later I received a curt letter from him, in which he informed
me that he was returning to Guatemala by the next boat. He expressed
the hope that we should meet again, but the phrasing of the letter left
me with the feeling that he had taken offense at having betrayed his
weakness, and that he did not wish to see me again.
A month went by. Then, unexpectedly, I received a letter from Garth.
He had known of my work at the Delancey Institute of Applied Sciences,
presumably, for it was there the letter was addressed. He merely asked
if I could find it convenient to meet him in his apartment in the West
Nineties on the following evening at eight, but the postscript added, "If
you can possibly manage to come, do so without fail."
I was not greatly surprised to find Adachi with him in Garth's apart-
ment. There was anxiety on the two men's faces, and it was evident that
they had been engaged in earnest discussion.
Garth sprang to his feet as the man-servant showed me in, and grasp-
ed my hand warmly. "Have you had any word from Maidand?" were
his first words.
I told him of the letter I had received, and of the conclusion I had
drawn from it that Maitland was offended with me. .
"He wrote each of us a similar letter," answered Garth. "But, he has
When Dead Gods Wake 57
not sailed for Guatemala. He has not left his house, except once or twice,
by night, since that evening. Adachi and I, who believe more or less
alike upon a certain subject, have been very anxious about him. Certain
developments tonight make it essential in our opinion that your cooper-
ation should be asked.
"I'll do anything I can for Maitland," I responded.
"Good," said Garth. "Please sit down."
"I hardly know where to begin," he said, after an embarrassed pause.
"I may as well say, however, that, next to Maidand, Adachi is probably
the greatest living expert on the Mayan hieroglyphics, which, as you
doubtless know, have been deciphered only in a very limited way. It
was in the hope of cooperating with Maitland that he came here from
He broke off. "If only Maitland had been willing to continue working
with me!" he said. "I can tell you one thing, Kent; it was not shame
that led him to break off the association. It was conviction."
Adachi nodded. "He had become convinced that night that certain
things are true," he said, "things which we of the Shinto cult have al-
ways known to be true. Mr. Kent, surely you, as a follower of the scientif-
ic method, will admit that it is possible there may exist a world of in-
telligences— I won't say superior to, but different from our own ?"
"You mean a world of spirits ?" I asked.
"Let us call them rather entities of a physical order different from that
which makes up the animal knigdom," he replied.
"I am prepared to grant the possibility," I said.
"We Japanese have always known this," he answered solemnly. "And
so has every race that ever lived."
"What are you suggesting, Mr. Adachi ?" I asked him.
"That the Mayan gods, like the Greek and Roman gods, like the fetish
ol the Negro and the idol of the Hindu have lived as truly as you and I
are alive," said the Japanese. "That these gods are entities which are
given existence by the combined belief of thousands of their votaries.
When thai belief tails, they die, or live in a state of suspended animation
until called back lo lite by a recrudescence of belief.
"The Mayan god of lightning and earthquakes, and of the python,
whose name we do not even know, represented the ideas of generations
of men, and had been fed by a hundred thousand bloody sacrifices."
Preposterous as his words sounded, I could not but be impressed by
the solemnity with which he spoke them. Garth, too, was watching me
58 MAGAZINE OF HORROR
"Please go on," I said.
"I must tell you, Mr. Kent, that I was able to read some part of the
hieroglyphics around the base of the stone block that night," said the
Japanese. "I do not know whether Maitland was intentionally deceiving
us in saying that the Indian, Pophonoc, was the hereditary priest of the
god, or whether he was mistaken. But that was untrue. Have you read
Fraser's Golden Bough, or are you familiar with the lines in Macaulay's
The priest who slew the slayer,
And must himself be slain '.>"
"I'm afraid not," I answered. "I haven't read a line of poetry since
my schooldays, and I've forgotten most all that I have read. What is
"There is a primitive folk custom, widespread throughout the world,"
answered Adachi, "and evidently common among the Mayans. It sym-
bolizes the birth and death of the corn spirit. According to this, the altar
of a certain god is tended by the priest who has succeeded in overpower-
ing and slaying the former priest. He holds his functions until, grown
old and weak, he is successfully attacked and killed by his would-be
"I have not the slightest doubt but that that young bronze Hercules
Pophonoc, overthrew and slew the last priest of the python god, and
that the- worship has been going on since the time of the Mayan empire.
"When he was surprised by Maitland in his jungles, in his awe of the
white man he expected death at any moment. He believed that Maitland
had come to slay him, and to become priest in his place. Gradually he
began to understand that Maitland knew nothing of his god.
"Vet even on the night ol the seance Pophonoc was convinced that
Maitland meant to kill him. Yoi- saw him bare his breast to the sacrificial
knife which Maitland, also entranced, held in his hand ? I got on the job
just in time to save him. Now — I do not know. But I do know that both
the white man and the red are merely puppets animated by the souls
of innumerable dead priests, and that gigantic evil forces are struggling
through them both."
I looked at the two men. I could hardly believe that I had heard them
aright. Common sense reasserted itself. "It seems a big fuss about a mere
idol of stone," I heard myself saying cynically.
"You should understand, Mr. Kent," said Garth, "that an idol is
When Dead Gods Wake
something more than wood or stone. Under certain conditions an idol
is able to prove that fact in a very convincing way. I have no doubt
Maitland is thoroughly convinced by now. And I think that he and
Pophonoc have between them succeeded in arousing a devil that is able
to bring unparalleled evil upon this city of ours."
"How?" I asked.
"By imbuing the minds of a hundred gangsters with a mania for
murder. By setting loose the devilish desires that sleep chained in the
hearts of a 'surprising number of us. And tonight we must save Mait-
land from that devil — or, if you prefer it, from himself." He looked at
"I must say," said the Japanese in his soft voice, "the god is most
powerful .at certain phases otthe moon. That night was the new moon;
tonight when the new moon enters Aquarius is a time especially pro-
pitious. That is in a litde less than three hours' time. You see," he add-
ed with a wry smiie, "it is necessary for us to act at once.
Garth glanced at Adachi, and I saw his unspoken question, "Shall we
tell him?" ■
He glanced at me and read my answer. He drew some newspaper
clippings from his pocket and handed them to me.
All of them had reference to the same subject, of which I had read
in the newspapers, and the latest, from a newspaper of the day before,
read in part as follows:
ANOTHER BRONX VILLK CHILD DISAPPEARS
"Consternation exists among the Negro population on the southern
fringe of Bronxville at the disappearance of litde Lily MacKenzie, aged
four, the third colored child to vanish during the past ten days. Little
Lily was sent to the corner grocery at Hudson and Pequod Streets just
when it was growing dark last night. She never reached it, andnothing
has since been seen of her. This third disappearance lends color to the
general belief that a maniac kidnapper is at large. Police reinforcements
have been drafted into the district, and no efforts are being spared to
clear up the mystery. Meanwhile the colored population remains in a
state of terror."
I handed the clippings back. "You mean— you think- " I stammered,
feeling a chill of terror run through my body.
"Kent, I don't want to think!" cried Garth vehemently. "All I ask
is that you will accompany us tonight."
MAGAZINE OF HORROR
"I'll go," I answered eagerly.
Garth's car was parked around the corner of the block, and we got in.
He drove slowly— there -was ample time- crossed the Park, and pro-
ceeded north through Harlem. We had gone some distance before I dis-
covered what he and Adachi had with them on the floor beneath the
projecting front seat.
There were two ordinary steel hatchets, but what their purpose was
I had no idea, and, in default of volunteered information, I preferred
not to question them. We were on the outskirts of Bronx ville when Garth
turned to me and said: "Just one point, Kent. It is essential that you show
no surprise and retain complete silence."
"We need you more as a witness than as a participant. You will sit
between us two, and I can reasonably guarantee that you will come
to no harm."
I thought it expedient to smile, and, in iact„ I was already experienc-
ing a reaction from the fears with which I had read the newspaper clip-
pings. The idea of Maitland, whom I had know all my life, of Mait-
land, the eminently sane, practical man of affairs, becoming the crazed
votary of a hideous, long forgotten Mayan god* was too ridiculous.
With that faculty oi mind-reading that I had noticed in him before,
Garth glanced back at me sharply, but he said nothing. We were thread-
ing the streets of Bronxville, and I noticed an unusual number of police-
men at the street corners. Here, at least, was concrete evidence that a
killer or kidnaper was at large. But Maitland! I forced a smile to my
lips, and again Garth looked at me.
We parked the car in front of a row of stores which were brightly
illuminated, and filled with purchasers. Here was no evidence of panic.
No, what Garth and Adachi suggested was altogether incredible. I was
half-ashamed that I had come with them on such a mission.
A policeman scrutinized us as we left the car. There was another
at the corner ol the side-street up which we had turned.
It was only two or three blocks to Maitland's house. But in that short
distance the whole atmosphere of the town changed. We had passed from
the crude new highway to a region that had once been historic, and,
though the great old houses had mostly been cut up into tenements, it
still retained a certain air of dignity and aloofness. Maitland's house
stood alone in a strip of lawn, with a rusting cypress tree on either side
extending its branches' above a decaying picket-fence. The new moon
hung, a thin thread, in the sky.
When Dead Gods Wake
Garth looked at his watch. "We're in plenty of time," he said.
"What are we going to do if Maidand's here?" I asked. "Take him
away by force ?"
"No," answered Garth. "This thing has gone too far. The devil that
has been unchained must be destroyed before it destroys us all."
We pushed open the gate and entered. Garth tugged at the old-fashion-
ed bell-pull, and I could hear it jangling and echoing through the house.
I listened for footsteps within, but none came. I was convinced Maidand
was not in the house. Garth's whole story was the product of a disordered
Quietly Garth'took a small steel implement from his pocket and began
picking at the lock. Almost immediately footsteps sounded within; but
they were the footsteps of a man standing still and raising and dropping
either foot alternately, to give the impression of movement. Garth 'stopped
his operations; the lock clicked back, the door opened, and Maidand
stood before us. I knew for a certainty that he had been crouching be-
hind the door, listening.
He was in evening dress, as before, and he seemed to have dressed
himself rather carefully, for there were black pearl studs in the front of
his stiff shirt, and he even had a gardenia in his button-hole. He look-
ed at us in well feigned surprise.
"Why, gendemen, I'm delighted to see you all here," he said affably.
"If only you had called up to let me know I might expect you — but,
you see, I'm just starting out for the evening."
Garth's response amazed me. He stepped up to Maidand and tapped
him lighdy on the cheek, at the same time making a pass with his hand
fore his eyes.
For a moment Maidand stood just as he had been standing-. Then his
jaw fell, he shivered, he looked at us dully, as if he didn't know who we
were. He breathed deeply. Then he recognized me.
"Kent?" he mumbled. "What brings you here? Oh, yes, I remember
now. I wrote to you to come and see the trophies from my last trip.
And these gentlemen must be Mr. Adachi and Mr. Garth, who were to
have accompanied you. I — I've been asleep, I think. I'm not feeling very
well this evening, but come upstairs and see my museum, gendemen. I
brought back some curious stuff — a sacrificial block and — "
The Indian had glided forward out of the shadows of the hall, moving
so sofdy that he might have been one of the stone serpents come to lite.
But there was nothing serpentine about Pophonoc He looked in the pink
MAGAZINE OF HORROR
of condition, a strong, vigorous, healthy youth. Only his eyes glowed
with baleful fires as he turned them on Garth and myself for a moment.
"Meest' MaiUand !"
There followed a phrase in Mayan, an movement of the hand, and a
look of piteous uncertainty came upon Maitland's face.
"I don't want— I don't want—" he stammered. "Help me, Kent!"
The words burst from his lips with almost a wail. And then the half-
dazed look was gone, and Maitland was once again the suave, polished
individual who had just met us at the door.
"Just starting out for the evening, gentlemen," he repeated. "But
you must come upstairs," he added, as the Indian spoke again in a soft
whisper. "It is so seldom I see you, that I feel inclined to sacrifice my
appointment and ask you to look at some of my trophies."
I saw the look of triumph in Pophonoc's eyes. He was staring inso-
lently into Garth's face. "Who is the greater, you or I?" he seemed to be
As if taking up the challenge, Garth bowed and smiled. "I'm sure we'll
all be delighted to accept your invitation, Mr. Maitland," he answered.
He pushed past Pophonoc, and Adachi and I followed him. I had a
pretty clear idea of what had been happening in the hall, though it had
staggered me for a moment. Maitland had suffered an alternation of
personality, and between the two beings alternately mainfesting in him,
there was no point of memory contact. I had heard of several such cases,
and there was nothing uncanny about it, except that the submerged Mait-
land, now dominant, appeared to have been evoked by a single word
from the Indian's lips.
"Kent," Garth managed to whisper to me, as I followed him up the
stairs, "I guaranteed tonight that you would not be exposed to danger.
I must withdraw that guarantee. Pophonoc understands that the battle
is set, and that there can be no withdrawing. To attempt to leave this
house would be the signal for a murderous attack on us. He knows,
and so does MaiUand, that they are booked for the chair, or for an in-
sane institution. We must go through with our task."
"We're three to two," I answered. "Do you mean to say, if we wanted
to escape, which I certainly don't, we couldn't overpower Maitland and
My anger rose. I resented the suggestion that we were trapped, three
to two by a savage and a man who was unbalanced. I was incensed
at Garth's suggestion that we were in danger.
"Kent, you don't understand the situation," Garth whispered back.
When Dead Gods Wake
"It is for Maitland's sake. I want to save the man who appealed to us
for help just now, the Maitland whom we three have known. To save him
in spite of the man created by that Indian and his devilish rites — the
madman, the childslayer, the — "
I could not hear the rest, and I did not want to hear. I had seen
enough to realize that the Indian youth wasMaitland's malignant master.
It was not" necessary to put Garth's interpretation upon the situation to
realize that we were in danger, and Maitland most of all. But I was quite
at a loss as to what Garth meant to do, though Adachi seemed to know.
We entered the museum, and Pophonoc switched on the lights. Mait-
land was in the same affable mood as when we entered the house, and
yet I- had the feeling that, in this alternating personality of his, he did
not know us, was feeling his way, and above all, responding to the un-
spoken commands of Pophonoc.
"Meest' Maitland think you want seance, hearum god talk," said
Pophonoc insolently. "He wait for you tonight hope for all sit together,
maybe god tell him where mooch gold hided, yes ?"
"That's what we came for," answered Garth, looking at his watch.
"Tell him, Maitland, that the moon enters Aquarius in a tew minutes
now. In his own language, of course, there isn't any Aquarius. But you'll
be able to make it clear to him."
"Ah, you are suggesting astrological influences, Garth ?" smiled Mait-
land. He spoke to Pophonoc, who looked Garth full in the face. For the
first time the Indian's easy insolence was not in evidence. Maitland
had revealed to him that Garth was not the simpleton he had supposed.
Yes, Pophonoc looked uneasy. He was afraid of the white man's knowl-
edge, and he did not know how far Garth's went.
He scowled as he led the way toward the altar and drew up the four
chairs again. This time it was the Indian who controlled the switch. At a
touch from his hand, every light in the museum went out, except a tiny
red one that hung high above the idol.
For a minute or two I could see nothing. Then, as my eyes grew
accommodated to the darkness, a cry hung on my lips, and I com-
pressed them forcibly to stifle it.
For both the carven pythons were hideously distended. Certainly they
had not appeared that way when I was there a month before. But that
was not the full horror of it.
For the outlines of the shapes inside those hideous forms were those
of little human beings.
My brain reeled. In that moment I was convinced; I believed, I under-
MAGAZINE OF HORROR
stood the foulness of this old Mayan devil that had come back to life,
into our modern world, through Maitland's folly. I was going mad, I
think; I felt Garth's hand touch mine, and something in that touch of his
enabled me to pull myself together.
And then my fear was replaced by an elemental rage that would admit
no fear. I had had a glimpse into the very depths of human wickedness,
and I swore to myself, as a Crusader might have sworn, that this abom-
inable thing should never come back to life to stay alive and trouble the
kindlier Earth of today.
I felt Garth's hand touch mine again, approvingly, as if he had read
my mind. I bent forward and saw the stern aspect of Adachi's features.
He, too, was ready to battle against the abomination.
Maitland had settled himself in his chair. His hea,d drooped on his
breast. Pophonoc had flung himself upon his knees again, and his soft,
rhythmical invocation of the god filled the place with cadenced music.
So dim was the little light that I could see only the vague oudines of
the Indian's form. But gradually Maitland's heavy, stertorous breath-
ing began to rise above the words. It was hard to sit there, not knowing
what was going to take place— to feel that sense of infinite evil that
brooded over the altar, and not to know what to do.
Yet I had complete faith in Garth. I felt him press my hand once
more. I felt the rigidity of his arm. The nervous tension in the place
was growing almost unbearable. And Pophonoc' s droning chant went on
It changed. The Indian had risen to his feet. Facing the idol, he pour-
ed forth what sounded like an impassioned oration.
It ceased. He sank to his knees again. Maitland's breathing had
grown frightful. The breath whistled through his lungs in hoarse, whining
spasm. The light above the altar seemed to be growing dimmer.
I was tailing asleep. There was no longer any sensation in my limbs.
My eyelids seemed borne down by leaden weights. I could not stir. I felt
Garth's hand gripping my wrist, heard him whispering in my ear, "Keep
awake, Kent! Keep awake as you value your life and your immortal
With all my power of will 1 sought to obey him. Desperately I fought
back that somnolence that was overpowering me. I managed to keep my
eyelids apart, to focus all that was left of me in the faculty of sight.
But that was all that I could do. I was cataleptic, helpless, and barely
conscious of my surroundings. Only the sense of mortal peril helped me
in that fight.
When Dead Gods Wake
And now once more I was conscious of that vile, sickening, sweetish,
earthy smell in my nostrils. Hot, fetid blasts were blowing toward me
from the idol. And then something happened that shocked me into an
alertness that helped me in my battle. Was it imagination, or was some-
thing stirring on either side of that carven, leering face ?
It was not imagination. Little ripples seemed to be running up and down
the stone. The stone was moving, undulating. The carved pythons were
I would have cried out in horror, but no sound issued from my lips.
The bodies were moving, tremors were passing up and down the carven
coils. And the vile serpent faces were moving, too. Imagination ? No,
iacredible truth ! They were turning upon the coils of heaving flesh, dis-
tended to bursting point by their abominable meal. They were turning
And something else was happening. The stone block was growing
longer. It was elongating toward the ceiling, and the face of the leering
god was no longer carved on the stone, but raised above it !
The impulse to sleep had passed, but the catalepsy remained. I could
not stir. I saw the serpent coils stretching toward me, loop after loop
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of quivering flesh. I felt the hot, noisesome breath upon my face. It
couldn't go on, or I should become a demented, raving, mindless thing.
My brain was bursting.
And over the altar towered a hideous being, shadowy and vague,
yet growing momentarily more clear. Its face was the leering face of the
carven god, but infinitely more cruel and hideous, more murderous
The end came. The place was filled with tumult, with leaping bodies.
I heard a scream of terrible intensity break from Maitland s lips, saw
him leap forward to where Pophonoc crouched beside the bowl. Simul-
taneously I saw Garth and Adachi leap from their seats on either side of
In their hands they held the hatchets that they had brought with them,
and I saw them hacking at the coils that were entangling them, strug-
gling like Laocoon and his sons in the famous sculpture.
I felt one of the coils pass over my head and tighten about my neck.
Stone ? Xo, this was flesh and blood, cold, clammy, infinitely strong. And
with the horror of it the catalepsy passed. I was on my feet, screaming
with horror, and fighting madly to free myself.
I saw Adachi' s ax descend. He had lopped off the coil a foot from my
body, and the writhing segment dropped to the floor, leaving me free. I
stumbled forward with the idea of rendering aid to Garth, who was still
struggling in the coils of the second serpent. But a more fearful scream
issued from Mainland's lips. And the sight I saw was more dreadful
that what I had seen hitherto.
By some demoniac light which, I swear, never emanated from the
little red bulb, I saw him standing over the body of Pophonoc. In one
hand raised aloft, was the sacrificial knife of stone, and in the other
Pophonoc' s heart, torn from the living flesh in the manner of the old
A blinding flash of lightning followed, and then a peal of thunder
that seemed to shake the room. It shook me from my feet. Next moment
I was struggling amid the debris that was raining down on me. The
whole building seemed to be collapsing. A beam dropped from above,
pinning me to the floor, which was collapsing too. I felt myself falling
into an abyss. I knew no more.
It was in in a private room in a hospital that I came back to con-
sciousness hours later. One of my legs, as I discovered afterward, had
When Dead Gods Wake
been broken, as well as two of my ribs, and there was hardly a sound
spot on my body. Garth was seated beside me, and, as I recognized him,
the whole horrid scene came back to me.
Garth leaned over me. "Kent, do you remember?" he whispered.
I nodded feebly. I heard his voice in my ear, "Say nothing, and ask
no questions. You're doing finely now. In a day or two I'll tell you every-
It was the nurse who told me that the house in which Maitland was
entertaining us had collapsed, owing to some subterranean explosion,
burying us in its ruins. Maitland had been drawn out crushed almost
beyond recognition, she admitted, and an Indian servant whom he had
brought back with him had perished likewise.
"You might have thought they had been pulverized in some mighty
engine," was the way a doctor put it later.
Some local fault in the subsoil, an explosion of natural gas, the seep-
ing in oi water to the foundations — such were various theories advanced
by the press. Nearly the entire building had been submerged, and Mait-
land's trophies had been buried beneath a pile of wreckage that was
merely leveled off and never disturbed.
Through all this information I kept my mouth shut tight, as Garth
had instructed me. But I knew already— I knew because I believed —
that it was the fury of the baffled earthquake demon that had wrought
It was not until I was able to be conveyed, by special arrangement,
to Garth's apartment, for convalescence, that he and Adachi explained to
me the part that they had played that fearful night.
"You must try to visualize Maitland," Garth began. "He had had
certain experiences in the jungles, as he told us, which had shaken him
from his firm materialistic viewpoint. Also he had profaned the sanctu-
ary of the jungle god. So long as he held firm to his contemptuous dis-
belief, he was unassailable, lor there is no power on earth or
under it can shake the human will.
"It was when he began to doubt that he laid himself open to the in-
sidious workings of a diabolical power which was struggling back to
existence after a sleep of more than a thousand years, aided by the
spells of Pophonoc.
"It was the sacrifice of the fowl that first gave the demon strength to
manifest itself. It was the later sacrifices— we won't dwell upon those—
but, as Homer says, it is through blood that the dead obtain the power
MAGAZINE OF HORROR
to assume visible form. I have no doubt but that Maitland was possessed
by some dead priest, who came to control him gradually.
"Finally came the long contest between Pophonoc and the dead priest
for the supreme control. One had to kill the other, in order to serve the
god. It may be that the Indian let himself be killed, as a supreme sac-
When we went there that night, both Pophonoc and Maitland resolved
upon our death. Adachi and I had foreseen that. We took with us those
hatchets. Steel, or iron, rather, as you probably know, was considered
a supernatural weapon in the age of stone. Its presence was held to nul-
lify all the power of the presiding demon.
"It was the presence of the steel hatchets, rather than their cutting
power, that saved us. 1 doubt whether the sharpest flint would have
sufficed to cut the coils of those serpents, materialized from the stone by
the art of Pophonoc."
He ceased, then looked at me quizzically. "You are something of a
skeptic still, Kent ?" he asked.
"I've seen enough to teach me that credulity is sometimes wiser than
the wisdom of the scoffer," I replied. "But— Maitland ? He was my
"I think," put in Adachi, "that though Maitland will have grievous
trials to bear for his lack of wisdom, that wasn't Maidand. Only his
"No," said Garth, "that wasn't Maitland."
by cJ^arry Eugene
(author of The Last Letter From Norman Underwood)
Writing stories in our medium amounts, in part, to playing a game
with the experienced reader in that the writer may satisfy and delight
the reader now by doing the expected, now by doing the unexpected,
and now by combining the two in a way which -will keep the reader
interested and guessing to the end. We shall be interested in seeing if
you agree that LARRY EUGENE MEREDITH has donewell in his com-
bination of elements.
I HAD PASSED THROUGH THIS SAME REGION twenty-
two years ago while on my honeymoon. Those had been giddy days
and we had hardly glanced at this countryside in our hurry to reach
gayer spots. My wife had died a few years ago with one of those wasting
diseases which leaves little more than a shallow shell of its victim. It had
been a comfort when she finally died; she had suffered with the pain for
so long. Since the funeral, I had buried myself in my work at the univer-
sity, completing research in my field. Now driving over this once happy
route, I returned to the sadness that I thought I had pressed completely
out of my mind.
MAGAZINE OF HORROR
It was simple coincidence which brought me back to this New England
country. About a month ago, as I have said, I finished the research
project that had occupied much of my life. I am a bibliographer— that is
I study books. For a while, I was floundering about, trying to find a
new and interesting subject for study, when I was contacted by a pub-
lishing company. It seemed that the firm was interested in bringing out
a special set of books featuring the stories of a dozen great writers of
fantasy and horror. They wanted to have a very complete selection, plus
introductions on each author, and they had come to me, hoping that I
would do background research for them; that is, compile complete lists
of these authors' works and gather facts about their lives. It sounded
interesting and diverting, and I accepted.
I had much to learn, since I had spent a lifetime searching out data
on more stuffy subjects, and was vague about the fantasy field. Before
actually beginning on the list supplied by the firm, I did some private
background study. This was simply reading a wide and varied collection
of horror tales.
I began with a modern, Yar Grenue, who had caught a vast following
with the adventures of an impish ghost named Impia. But I soon realized
that Grenue wa£ unique. He wrote in an intellectually slick style stories
which were really satires of horror stories. Some quick checking in literary
circles revealed that Grenue had very little appeal with the true con-
noisseur of the fantasy story. This was something I found present in the
style of most modern writers. They were inconsistant with the basic rules
of fantasy, writing instead small essays of allegory commenting on mod-
ern society and its lacks. This was all well and good, but had little to
do with the project ahead of me. It was obvious that I should turn back
to the old masters of the macabre: I'oe, Algernon Blackwood, Ambrose
Bierce^etc, some of whom were on the firm's list.
Once prepared through reading, I felt ready to begin my research. I
I debated where to begin. I was thinking of starting in alphabetical order,
but in my reading I had found one author to be more frightening that
any other. I was so impressed by his ability to scare, to present his
stories in such a realistic style, that I chose to begin with him. I began
by browsing through the university library and I got my first lead out
of a thin volume of stories gathering dust on a back shelf. The book was
an anthology and it contained two stories by the author I was interested
in. This volume was important for it led me to the bridge over my first
difficulty. The author that the firm and I were after was unknown; he
had signed his stories only with the initials: E.A. Not that it was any
The Writings of El win Adams
different in this case; the editor of the book had not used any more
than those initials in his introduction, but he had mentioned that he had
known E.A., and owned the copyrights on the stories. The title of the book
was Post-Mortem and its editor was Paul Taggert.
It took a while, but I finally found somebody who had heard of Paul
Taggert. Through this person I was able to discover that Taggert was
still alive, and week later I located his address, a rural address in the
bleak, stark backwoods of New England. I wrote to Taggert and when he
realized my earnest interest in E.A., he invited me to visit him, for he
claimed it would have been what Elwin would have wanted. I had my
first jigsaw piece. E.A. was rUwin something. I left immediately.
Taggert's house was a rustic home, very plain and cold. You could
easily imagine the tight-lipped Yankee farmer walking through its halls
carrying an oil lamp and wearing a night-cap. Yet no matter how bleak
the house appeared, the countryside seemed bleaker, especially since I
arrived as twilight was turning to night. The trees were heavy and old
and casted a shadowy shape over the country. The wind stirred through
the bare November branches and the limbs stooped slowly toward you.
Though they never really came any closer, you had a strange feeling that
they had. I readily admit that I was very glad when the front door of
the home opened to my knock and the warm glow of bright light streaked
across the porch.
If I was happy to gain entrance to the house, I was taken back by
Paul Taggert. He was an extremely old man. A great mass of wrinkles
plowed about his face when he talked; his lips were sunken and gray
with age, arid his small red eyes showed he didn't sleep well. After I had
been there a couple of days, I found that this was true. I often heard
him tossing and turning in his bed in the room across from mine, and I
often heard him get up in the night and go downstairs.
The night I arrived, we did not spend talking, foT Taggert told me
he preferred to get to bed early at his age and we could talk in the
morning. He showed me to my room and said goodnight. I was just
as glad, for I was exhausted and I fell onto the bed immediately after
removing my clothes. When I awoke the sun was streaming through my
windows and it brightened the room considerably.
That day we talked, except for the two hours I spent reading letters
which Taggert kindly gave me permission to do. From Taggert I learned
that Elwin Adams was the author's name and that he had lived a short,
rather unhappy life, most of which was spent alone in this very house.
Hodgkin's disease struck him down early and his remaining stories
MAGAZINE OF HORROR
and sketches became the responsibility of his friend Taggert, who con-
tinued to have them published. Taggert was very helpful and I was learn-
ing about Adams even faster than I had hoped. He had also made all
of Adams' letters, notes and stories available and so by the end of a
week my work list was complete.
On the last night of my planned visit, I was awakened abrupdy by
a crash from downstairs in the library. I hurried down to the room and
discovered Taggert lying face down on the floor, clutching something
in his hand. Across the room was an upset chair and some books were
scattered around the floor. Taggert was breathing heavily and gasping
for breath as I bent near him. I attempted to help him up, but he shook
his head. Instead he handed me the object he was clutching. It seemed
nothing more than a common gold locket, if a bit larger than would be
commonly found in such a piece. It dangled from a gold chain.
Paul Taggert could hardly speak and there was an expression of ut-
most terror on his face. Nervously he kept glancing toward the over-
turned chair as if expecting to see somebody right it and sit down. He
spoke to me in a drifting, far-away voice.
"Take it ... the locket," he said. "Destroy it ... at once. At once."
His eyes moved up beneath the thin purple lids and he died. He was
an old man and I supposed he had suffered some sort of heart attack.
At any rate, 1 contributed his last words to delirium and stuffed the
locket into my pajama pocket. I took a final look at Taggert. He no
longer looked fear-struck; there were distinct signs of long awaited relief
on his wizened face.
I notified an undertaker in the nearest town and made arrangements
to remove Taggert for burial. Meanwhile I knew I would have to stay
around the area until the officialities were taken care of concerning the
death. I took the opportunity to examine the Adams library at my leisure.
The library had a well-stocked selection of books. There was a sec-
tion devoted entirely to the works of the other great terror writers. Many
of the books were rare volumes and I found much needed material there.
There were other books in the library beside horror: great classics and
many books on astronomy and archeology. And of course, every book
that Adams and Taggert had ever published. Unfortunately there was no
diary, which I had hoped to find.
The morning after Taggert's death was a beautifully clear day. The
rich sunlight gave a liveliness even to that bleak country. It was such a
lovely day that I chose to drive down to an old preserved New England
village not too many miles away from the Adams house. I had not
The Writings of El win Adams
visited the museum village for long when I realized that it had been a
mistake in coming. Seeing the old town that I had first seen with my wife
brought back the pain and loneliness of her loss. I felt more dismal by
the hour until I couldn't bear it any longer and started driving back to
It was getting close to evening as I turned into the long lane taking
me off the country road and back into the marshy fields that surrounded
the property. The beautiful day had turned ashen by afternoon and now
large drops of rain began to splash on my windshield, spreading out in
spider-web designs before running down the glass and forming puddles
at the bottom. It was falling slowly, trying to break forth with violence.
When I got out of the car, I could feel the powerful wind which had
arisen and twisted the naked trees in painful contortions.
The house was dark, even after I turned on the lights. Each corner
of the rooms was a dark hole. The furniture cast shadows on the walls.
It became obvious that the location of the lamps was poor, probably
purposely, since I had learned that Adams preferred to write in dim
light. It was surprising that Taggert had not rearranged things to more
comfortable positions after Adams' death. Since he hadn't I would; I
spent an hour getting the lamps set in the best places to warm the rooms
with cheery modern light.
For the next three hours after my rearranging, I wrote. I began by re-
copying my notes and was planning to spend the evening plotting my
presentation of the introduction to E. A.; instead I ended up writing a
short story. I had never tried my hand at fiction before, but something
about the house seemed to stimulate my imagination and I typed out a
short story without too much eifort. Most surprisingly, the story actually
sounded good on re-reading and appeared very finished for a first draft.
Usually I have to rewrite everything I do several times, even letters,
before they seem readable. I was beginning to think I had uncovered
some long hidden talent within myself. It made me feel quite satisfied as
well as physically exhausted and drained.
I went to bed and fell asleep at once. I had the strangest dream.
I was running through a dark misty place. The ground was mossy. My
left arm was stiffly outstretched and dangling from my hand, swinging
back and forth at the end of its golden chain, was the locket that Paul
Taggert had given me the night he died. I had forgotten it completely,
but it must have been on my unconscious mind, for it was dominating
me throughout the dream. As I ran, I stared at its gende sway. It was
actually leading me through the mist. I followed it into a long room with
MAGAZINE OF HORROR
large square cases stacked along the wall. I was running through a
burial vault. After running past the coffins for a long time, I stopped
at one and held the locket over the lid. Slowly the lid opened and a thin
hand reached for the locket. A face appeared. It was Taggert, white
with death, and he snatched the locket from me and placed it about his
neck. He whispered something which I couldn't understand. Before I
could ask him to speak louder, the vault shook and filled with angry
dashing spots of light. A thunderous tearing broke the air.
The terrible sound woke me. I sat up, sweating and the blanket wrap-
ped around me was soaked. I listened, thinking that there must have
been some real noise that had wakened me, but the only sound I heard
was my own heart beating with my fear. I lay back, but I didn't think
I could go back to sleep. I was wide-awake. Finally I swung my legs
over the edge of the bed and sat there in the dark. For some reason,
resdessness, I suppose, I picked my robe from off a nearby chair and
went from my room and downstairs. As I walked through the lower
rooms toward the kitchen, which I had convinced myself was my target,
a midnight raid on the icebox, I accidendy pulled the nearly forgotten
locket from my pocket. Much to my amazement, the gold metal glowed
brighdy in the dark. It had a distinct halo of light beaming around it.
It also appeared that the light came from the inside of the locket and
was shining out the crack.
I snapped it open. The light nearly blinded me. It burned with great
heat. I dropped the locket and fell back against the hall wall with my
arms over my face. As I stood there, covering my eyes, I heard a voice.
It was not a singular sound that could be easily located, but an echoing
so that the voice was constandy repeating through the house. It was a
My heart beat faster and faster. It threatened to tear loose and fall in
my chest. I felt mortal terror for the first time in my life. Even so, I
lowered my arms and squinted into the bright blue light.
She stood before me in a white flowing gown made of air and cloud,.
flowers trimming its hem and her hair. My wife. My lovely dead wife.
Her brown hair was captured by a draft, it floated upward until it was
a dark curtain blowing back upon her head. Her hand, delicate as tissue,
blue and white, and cold as plastic, reached out and touched my cheek.
Her eyes came to mine, but you could not look into them. They were
not alive with human life, but with a smokey fire that would not allow
you to focus upon it.
"No! No!" I cried, and shrank back along the wall. I knew I wasn't
The Writings of El win Adams
still asleep; I was awake, never more awake. Yet, I saw my wife as if
she was real and in the room, and as I edged away the blue light grew
brighter and it swallowed the glimmering image of my wife, and she was
My heart stopped its furious beat. Now I felt a terrible loss. "Come
back," I shouted and moved into the warmth of the light, "come back !"
The terrible blue light shot out of the locket in a widening fan, whirling
around in clouds of rainbow. The circling ceased and standing before me
was the image of Taggert. His eyes were firey red and popped wide
open; his mouth was pulled back in a vicious grimace. It was the same
look he had had before dying, the look of unutterable fear. His lean arm
was raised, the skin hanging, gray, like peeling paint, his index finger
pointing, quivering, at me. His mouth dropped open and out of the dark
tunnel behind the immovable lips came a hollow sound, which vibrated
through the glow, and the very words seemed to be sparks that burned
as they reached me.
"I warned you," it said. "Why didn't you destroy it ?"
Suddenly the house was filled with laughter. Laughter tilled with some-
thing evil, like a man laughing at cruelty. Taggert dropped his rigid arm
and stiffly turned his head to gaze back over his shoulder, as if something
truly horrible was coming. His face grew more awful. It became so ani-
mated by tear that it was hard to recognize the man at all. Then his
head fell back, his eyes closed to the world, the mouth swooped open and
he screamed the most unhumanly scream I have ever heard. The light
rose and consumed the image, and Taggert was gone.
Again the light vibrated and this time from its center stepped a stranger
to- confront me. He was a tall, thin man wearing rimless glasses. He was
sickly pale. His lace was haggard and tortured. His head nodded from
side to side, as if he was trying to deny some established fact. There was
a faint familiarity about him. It was a long time in coming to me, but
it came and I knew 1 was looking at an image of K 1 w i a Adams.
"You will know," he said; again the voice was hollow, bouncing.
"You will know."
The light blazed and surrounded Adams, and he too vanished.
Now the light grew dimmer and dimmer until the room returned to total
darkness again. The laughing and other sounds that had been present
stopped and the house became silent.
The silence depressed me. It seemed unnatural and I began to plead
MAGAZINE OF HORROR
tor it to stop. I wanted to hear some sound again. It was such a deep
thorough silence that I thought I had gone deaf.
It lasted but a moment and my mind cleared. I was alone in the hall-
way, the gold locket lying at my feet, closed. I stooped and picked it
up. Outside the windows I could see the sky getting lighter. It was almost
dawn and I felt as if I had just awakened from a deep sleep. I looked
around me in a daze, wondering what I was doing downstairs. I had
never walked in my sleep before, but it seemed I must have that night.
I began to recall the dreams; they were as clear as if I had actually ex-
perienced the awful illusions. I was also very weak and tired. I replaced
the locket in my pajamas and went back to the bedroom and bed. When
I awoke again, it was noon.
As soon as my eyes opened, I got an idea for another short story.
It drove me from the bed. I could hardly wait to put it on paper. The
need to finish this story was so great that I didn't stop to get any-
thing to eat. I went directly to work and I worked the rest of the day,
far into the evening, never once having to .pause to think of the right
word or the next event. It almost wrote itself. And I didn't feel my lack
of nourishment until I had finished the twenty-seventh and last page.
Once completed, I was overcome with a nagging hunger.
Even then I didn't arise from my chair and head for the kitchen. In-
stead I picked up the story and read it. It was a horror story— so hor-
rible, in fact, that I was amazed at my own imagination. The things
that haunted the characters I had written about were fantastic, like
nothing of Earth. I also noticed that the style wasn't my own. It was
very definitely the style of Elwin Adams. It was very clear that being in
this house and among this man's life work was influencing my own
writing, but nonetheless, I felt grateful that the story was so good. I was
certain it was one of the best things I had ever written, even if it was a
fantasy story and far removed from my usual work.
At last I gave in to the pangs in my stomach and left the library
and went into the hall. I shoved my hands into my pockets, as was my
habit when tired, and discovered an object in my right pocket. I pulled
it out and there was the gold locket. I hadn't remembered putting it in
my trousers pocket, but there it was shedding its strange light into the
dim hall. This time I cautiously opened the locket but a crack. Even
this sent a blinding flash of light at me, the same twirling blue light I
had seen the night before, the light I had convinced myself had been a
The heat became intense. The locket was getting hot. I couldn't hold
The Writings of El win Adams
it without burning my hand. It became too hot and I dropped it and it
My God, my Cod, what I saw in that blue light. What vast horrors
I released into that hallway. Those things, those very things, that I knew
Adams had written about. The self-same haunters that appeared in my
own newly-written story. They walked out of the gleaming light into my
sight. Forbidden creatures and gods of some region of time and space
that exists outside our modern lite. And with them came their strange
slaves. People stooped and bent, with stringy golden hair and yellow
eyes, glowing and twinkling in their sockets like polished metal, their
noses broad and beaked, their cheeks slit with raw wounds, their mouths
square and wide and toothless.
The light danced before me. The rumbling noise that had begun to fill
my mind grew to an explosion. My eyes closed, my head dropped into
my waiting hands and I slid down the wall to the floor. I held my face
in my palms. The house shook gendy around me and as the shaking
grew, I fell asleep.
When I revived I was still lying on the hall floor. The locket was
lying beside me, snapped closed. Warm sunlight fell across my face. It
was another day. I had passed-out and slept the night. My stomach
rumbled, for I had not eaten for nearly forty-eight hours. I got to my
feet and stumbled out to the kitchen. I took some food from the refrigera-
tor and nibbled at some fruit as I prepared to cook some eggs. I cracked
the shells and it came to me— a new story. I couldn't shake it oft"; I had
to get to my typewriter and get it down while I remembered it.
All day I typed and the story poured forth. Another tale in Adams
Do You Have Trouble Finding Us ?
It's a constant war to try to get MAGAZINE OF HORROR,
STARTLING MYSTERY STORIES, FAMOUS SCIENCE
FICTION, and WORLD WIDE ADVENTURE on to your
newsstands— and then keep them appearing there issue after
issue. We win on one front, and are pushed back on another.
If you're in an area where we've suffered reverses, so that
you don't see us, there is a simple remedy; you'll find it on
pages 125 and 128 of this issue.
MAGAZINE OF HORROR
style. Fantastically alive. But it sapped ray strength; I had worked the
entire day, far into the night. The room dissolved into darkness as I
My chest was gripped with pain, my hands ached. I could hardly
move my arms and legs with the cramps that were in them. My head
spun when I rose, and tiny black spots played before my eyes. My lips
were dry and stuck together. I had to eat, to drink. I staggered into the
dark hall, waiting for the golden locket to appear and fill the hall with
the light. I deliberately kept my hands away from my pockets and kepi
my eyes toward the kitchen, all my concentration aimed at the refrigera-
tor. I stumbled back and forth. My legs seemed made of rubber, but I
made it. I panted heavily, leaning against the tall white box for support.
My hand, shaking, unsteady, grasped the chilly metal handle of the door.
I pulled back and the door swung open, but lying on the topmost shelf,
already open, and brighter than the refrigerator light, was the locket.
If I could shut off its glow I would be all right. Yes, certainly. I
slammed the refrigerator closed and leaned against the door. I wouldn't
open it again. I knew the locket was in there. It would be safe in there.
I could eat other things. I crossed to a pantry and looked in. There was
bread and jams and cans of soup. I took a can and took it to the table
to open. Behind me I heard a click. I turned and the refrigerator was
opening. A crack had appeared; blue light edged the white door.
I had to stop it. I ran across the room. I tripped over a chair, fell to
the floor, and still I moved forward, crawling toward the door. I made a
dive, but I misjudged, I missed. The door was open and the blue light
flooded the kitchen.
I groveled before it as the creatures began to form in the purple
shadows. The heat burned my body; my face was alive with the heat.
Tears forced their way from my eyes.
Through the bright light I could see the open icebox. Its contents
were within my reach. I saw milk . . .
I lost my fear. My hunger drove it from me. My mind held onto the
sight of the food shelves. I was forcing myself to crawl into the blue
glow. Moving slowly forward, I felt nothing could stop me, not even the
fire that was burning my body. I dragged my heavy body closer to my
goal. I was almost there when I felt something grip me. I tried to move,
but it held me back. I turned to see what had me, and I saw it. Large !
Eyes made of moons. An acrid odor emanated from it, and it cast a cold
shadow over the blue light.
The Writings of El win Adams
I was running. I don't know how I got loose or where I found the
strength to run, but I ran. Dashing into the night, rushing from that
house and through the dreary countryside surrounding it. I ran through
the trees bending over me, ran through the broken weeds in the dead
winter fields. I ran all the way down to the village and there I collapsed
in the center of town. I was crying and screaming and people woke up
and came out and got me.
They were good to me. They allowed me to spend the night in their
home and in the morning they fed me a large breakfast. They thought I
should stay for a few days and catch my strength, but understandably I
wanted to get as far away from that part of the country as possible. They
were nice enough to go out to the house and bring my car to town for
me. I left immediately and drove all the way down in one day. I gave
up the project for the publishing firm and have moved out here to this
farm for a rest. Only two things bother me now. One is that someday I
will have to open the glove compartment in my car. It should be empty,
but it rattles.
dvcoroHon by Boy c#
(author of The Monster of the Prophecy, The Door to Saturn)
In this story, as in others of the Averoigne series, CLARK ASHTON
SMITH shows the proper use of humor in weird and fantastic fiction.
There are no slapstick scenes, no burlesques of the medium, no out-
right jokes— but, as in the still wonderful-to-read tales of Boccaccio, a
pawky undertone of ridicule which gooses rather than smites with the
hammer. To the editor's way of thinking, this sort of satire is not only
more artistic, but more effective than the heavy-handed, club-bearing and
club-footed sort of operation which passes for satire too frequently. It is
written somewhere that the Devil thrives on angry challenges to battle,
but shrinks from hearty and unfearful laughter. You don't have to be-
lieve in Satan in order to get the point of this; for evil at all times takes
itself seriously and cannot endure being shown up as simply absurd.
THE THRICE-INFAMOUS NATHAIRE, alchemist, astrologer
and necromancer, with his ten devil-given pupils, had departed very
suddenly and under circumstances of strict secrecy from the town of
Vyones. It was widely thought, among the people of that vicinage, that
Copyright 1934 by the Popular Fiction Publishing Company for WEIRD TALES,
June; copyright 1948 by Clark Ashton Smith; from the Arkham House collection,
Genius tod; by permission of Arkham House.
his departure had been prompted by a salutary fear of ecclesistical thumb-
screws and fagots. Other wizards, less notorious than he, had already
gone to the stake during a year of unusual inquisitory zeal; and it was
well-known that Xathaire had incurred the reprobation of the Church.
Few, therefore, considered the reason of his going a mystery; but the
means of transit which he had employed, as well as the destination of the
sorcerer and his pupils, were regarded as more than problematic.
A thousand dark and superstitious rumors were abroad; and passers
made the sign of the Cross when they neared the tall, gloomy house
which Nathaire had built in blasphemous proximity to the great cathedral
and had filled with a furniture of Satanic luxury and strangeness. Two
daring thieves, who had entered the mansion when the fact of its deser-
tion became well established, reported that much ol this furniture as well
as the books and other paraphernalia of Nathaire had seemingly de-
parted with its owner, doubtless to the same fiery bourn. This served to
augment the unholy mystery: for it was patendy impossible that Nathaire
and his ten apprentices, with several cart-loads of household belongings,
could have passed the ever-guarded city gates in any legitimate manner
without the knowledge of the custodians.
It was said by the more devout and religious moiety that the Arch-
fiend, with a legion of bat-winged assistants, had borne them away
bodily at moonless midnight. There were clerics, and also reputable
burghers, who professed to have seen the flight of dark, man-like shapes
upon the blotted stars together with others that were not men, and to
have heard the wailing cries of the hell-bound crew as they passed in an
evil cloud over the roofs and city walls.
Others believed that the sorcerers had transported themselves from
Vyon.es through their own diabolic arts, and had withdrawn to some
unfrequented fastness where Nathaire, who had long been in feeble health,
could hope to die in such peace and serenity as might be enjoyed by
one who stood between the flames of the auto-da-fe and those of Abaddon.
It was thought that he had lately cast his own horoscope, for the first
time in his fifty-odd years, and had read therein an impending conjunc-
tion of disastrous planets, signifying early death.
Others still, among whom were certain rival astrologers and enchanters,
said that Nathaire had retired from the public view merely that he might
commune without interruption with various coadjutive demons; and thus
might weave, unmolested, the black spells of a supreme and lycanthropic
malice. These spells, they hinted, would in due time be visited upon
Vyones and perhaps upon the entire region of Averoigne; and would no
82 MAGAZINE OF HORROR
doubt take the form of a fearsome pestilence, or a wholesale invultuation,
or a realm-wide incursion of succubi and incubi.
Amid the seething of strange rumors, many half-forgotten tales were
recalled, and new legends were created overnight. Much was made of the
obscure nativity of Nathaire and his dubitable wanderings before he had
settled, six years previous, in Vyones. People said that he was fiend-be-
gotten, like the fabled Merlin: his father being no less a personage than
Alastor, demon of revenge; and his mother a deformed and dwarfish sor-
ceress. From the former, he had taken his spitefulness and malignity; from
the latter, his squat, puny physique.
He had travelled in Orient lands, and had learned from Egyptian or
Saracenic masters the unhallowed art of necromancy, in whose practice he
was unrivalled. There were black whispers anent the use he had made
of long-dead bodies, of fleshless bones, and the service he had wrung from
buried men that the angel of doom alone could lawfully raise up. He had
never been popular, though many had sought his advice and assistance
in the furthering of their own more or less dubious affairs. Once, in the
third year after his coming, to Vyones, he had been stoned in public
because of his bruited necromancies, and had been permanently lamed by
a well-directed cobble. This injury, it was thought, he had never forgiven;
and he was said to return the antagonism of the clergy with the hellish
hatred of an Antichrist.
Apart from the sorcerous evils and abuses of which he was commonly
suspected, he had long been looked upon as a corrupter of youth. Des-
pite his minikin stature, his deformity and ugliness, he possessed a re-
markable power, a mesmeric persuasion; and his pupils, whom he was
said to have plunged into bottomless and ghoulish iniquities, were young
men of the most brilliant promise. On the whole, his vanishment was
regarded as a quite providential riddance.
Among the people of the city there was one man who took no part
in the somber gossip and lurid speculation. This man was Gaspard du
Nord, himself a student of the proscribed sciences, who had been num-
bered for a year among the pupils of Nathaire but had chosen to with-
draw quietly from the master's household after learning the enormities,
that would nttend his further initiation. He had, however, taken with him
much rare and peculiar knowledge, together with a certain insight into
the baleful powers and night-dark motives of the necromancer.
Because of this knowledge and insight, Gaspard preferred to remain
silent when he heard of Nathaire' s departure. Also, he did not think
it well to revive the memory of his own past pupilage. Alone with his
The Colossus of Ylourgne
books, in a sparsely furnished attic, he frowned above a small, oblong
mirror, framed with an arabesque of golden vipers, that had once been
the property of Nathaire.
It was not the reflection of his own comely and youthful though subtly
lined face that caused him to frown. Indeed, the mirror was of another
kind than that which reflects the features of the gazer. In its depths, for
a few instants, he had beheld a strange and ominous-looking scene,
whose participants were known to him but whose location he could not
Tecognize or orientate. Before he could study it closely, the mirror clouded
as if with the rising of alchemic fumes, and he had seen no more.
This clouding, he reflected, could mean only one thing: Nathaire had
known himself watched and had put forth a counterspell that rendered
the clairvoyant mirror useless. It was the realization of this fact, together
with the brief, sinister glimpse of Nathaire' s present activities, that troubled
Gaspard and caused a chill horror to mount slowly in his mind: a horror
that had not yet found a palpable form or a name.
THE DEPARTURE OF NATHAIRE AND HIS PUPILS oc-
curred in the late spring of 1281, during the interlunar dark. Afterward a
new moon waxed above the flowery fields and bright-leafed woods, and
waned in ghostly silver. With its waning, people began to talk of other
magicians and fresher mysteries.
Then, in the moon-deserted nights of early summer, there came a ser-
ies of disappearances far more unnatural and inexplicable than that of
the dwarfish, malignant sorcerer.
It was found one day, by grave-diggers who had gone early to their
toil in a cemetery outside the walls of Vyones, that no less than six newly
occupied graves had been opened, and the bodies, which were those of
reputable citizens, removed. On closer examination, it became all too evi-
dent that this removal had not been__effected by robbers. The coffins,
which lay aslant or stood protruding upright from the mold, offered all
the appearance of having been shattered from within as. if by the use of
extrahuman strength; and the fresh earth itself was upheaved, as if the
dead men, in some awful, untimely resurrection, had actually dug then-
way to the surface.
The corpses had vanished utterly, as if hell had swallowed them; and,
as far as could be learned, there were no eye-witnesses of their fate. In
those devil-ridden times, only one explanation of the happening seemed
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credible: demons had entered the graves and had taken bodily possession
of the dead, compelling them to arise and go forth.
To the dismay and horror of all Averoigne, the strange vanishment
was followed with appalling promptness by many others of a like sort.
It seemed as if an occult, resisdess summons had been laid upon the
dead. Nightly, for a period of two weeks, the cemeteries of Vyones and
also those of other towns, of villages and hamlets, gave up a ghastly
quota of their tenants. From brazen-bolted tombs, from common charnels,
from shallow, unconsecrated trenches, from the marble-lidded vaults of
churches and cathedrals, the weird exodus went on without cessation.
Worse than this, if possible, there were newly ceremented corpses that
leapt from their biers or catafalques, and disregarding the horrified watch-
ers, ran with great bounds of automatic frenzy into the night, never to be
seen again by those who lamented them.
In every case, the missing bodies were those of young stalwart men
who had died but recently and had met their death through violence or
accident rather than wasting illness. Some were criminals who had paid
the penalty of their misdeeds; others were men-at-arms or constables,
slain in the execution of their duty. Knights who had died in tourney or
personal combat were numbered among them; and many were the victims
of the robber bands who infested Averoigne at that time. There were
monks, merchants, nobles, yeomen, pages, priests; but none, in any case,
who had passed the prime of life. The old and infirm, it seemed, were
safe from the animating demons.
The situation was looked upon by the more superstitious as a veritable
omening of the world's end. Satan was making war with his cohorts
and was carrying the bodies of the holy dead into hellish captivity. The
consternation increased a hundredfold when it became plain that even the
most liberal sprinkling of holy water, the performance of the most awful
and cogent exorcisms, failed utterly to give protection against this diabolic
ravishment. The Church owned itself powerless to cope with the strange
evil; and the forces of secular law could do nothing to arraign or punish
the intangible agency.
Because of the universal fear that prevailed, no effort was made to
follow the missing cadavers. Ghasdy tales, however, were told by late
wayfarers who had met certain of these liches, striding alone or in com-
panies along the roads of Averoigne. They gave the appearance of
being deaf, dumb, totally insensate, and of hurrying with horrible speed
and sureness toward a remote, predestined goal. The general direction of
their flight, it seemed, was eastward; but only with the cessation of the
The Colossus of Ylourgne
exodus, which had numbered several hundred people, did anyone be-
gin to suspect the actual destination of the dead.
This destination, it somehow became rumored, was the ruinous casde
of Ylourgne, beyond the werewolf-haunted forest, in the oudying, semi-
mountainous hills of Averoigne.
Ylourgne, a great, craggy pile that had been built by a line of evil
and marauding barons now extinct, was a place that even the goatherds
preferred to shun. The wrathful specters of its bloody lords were said to
move turbulendy in its crumbling halls; and its chatelaines were the
Undead. No one cared to dwell in the shadow of its cliff-founded walls;
and the nearest abode of living men was a small Cistercian monastery,
more than a mile away on the opposite slope of the valley.
The monks of this austere brotherhood held litde commerce with the
world beyond the hills; and few were the visitors who sought admission
at their high-perched portals. But, during that dreadful summer, follow
ing the disappearances of the dead, a weird and disquieting tale went
forth from the monastery throughout Averoigne.
Beginning with late spring, the Cistercian monks were compelled to
take, cognizance of sundry odd phenomena in the old, long-deserted
ruins of Ylourgne, which were visible from their windows. They had
beheld flaring lights, where lights should not have been: flames of un-
canny blue and crimson that shuddered behind the broken, weed-grown
embrasures or rose starward above the jagged crenelations. Hideous
noises had issued from the ruin by night together with the flames; and
the monks had heard a clangor as of hellish anvils and hammers, a
ringing of gigantic armor and maces, and had deemed that Ylourgne
was become a mustering-ground of devils. Mephitic odors as of brim-
stone and burning flesh had floated across the valley; and even by day,
when the noises were silent and the lights no longer flared, a thin haze
of hell- blue vapor hung upon the batdements.
It was plain, the monks thought, thatthe place had been occupied from
beneath by subterrestrial beings; for no one was seen to approach it by
way of the bare, open slopes and crags. Observing these signs of the
Archfoe's activity in their neighborhood, they crossed themselves with
new fervor and frequency, and said their Paters and Aves more inter-
minably than before.. Their toils and austerities, also, they redoubled.
Otherwise, since the old castle was a place abandoned by men, they took
no heed of the supposed occupation, deeming it well to mind their own
affairs unless in case of overt Satanic hostility.
They kept a careful watch; but for several weeks they saw no one who
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actually entered Ylourgne or emerged therefrom. Except for the nocturnal
lights and noises, and the hovering vapor by day, there was no proof
of tenantry either human or diabolic.
Then, one morning, in the valley below the terraced gardens of the
monastery, two brothers, hoeing weeds in a carrot-patch, beheld the
passing of a singular train of people who came from the direction of
the great forest ofAveroigne and went upward, climbing the steep, chasmy
slope toward Ylourgne.
These people, the monks averred, were striding along in great haste,
with stiff but flying steps; and all were strangely pale of feature and were
habited in the garments of the grave. The shrouds of some were torn
and ragged; and all were dusty with travel or grimed with the mold
of interment. The people numbered a dozen or more; and after them, at
intervals, there came several stragglers, attired like the rest. With mar-
velous agility and speed, they mounted the hill and disappeared at length
amid the lowering walls of Ylourgne.
At this time, no rumor of the ravished graves and biers had reached
the Cistercians. The tale was brought to them later, after they beheld, on
many successive mornings, the passing of small or great companies
of the dead toward the devil-taken castle. Hundreds of these liches, they
swore, had filed by beneath the monastery; and doubtless many others
had gone past unnoted in the dark. None, however, were seen to come
forth from Ylourgne, which had swallowed them up like the undisgorging
Though direly frightened and sorely scandalized, the brothers still
thought it well to refrain from action. Some, the hardiest, irked by all
these flagrant signs of evil, had desired to visit the ruins with holy water
and lifted crucifixes. But their abbot, in his wisdom, enjoined them to
wait. In the meanwhile, the nocturnal flames grew brighter, the
Also, in the course of this waiting, while incessant prayers went up from
the little monastery, a frightful thing occurred. One of the brothers, a stout
fellow named Theophile, in violation of the rigorous discipline, had made
over-frequent visits to the wine-casks. No doubt he had tried to drown his
pious horror at these untoward happenings. At any rate, after his pota-
tions, he had the ill-luck to wander out among the precipices and break
Sorrowing for his death and dereliction, the brothers laid Theophile in
the chapel and chanted their masses for his soul. These masses in the dark
hours before morning, were interrupted by the untimely resurrection of
The Colossus of Ylourgne 87
the dead monk, who, with his head lolling horribly on his broken neck,
rushed as if fiend-ridden from the chapel and ran down the hill toward
the demon flames and clamors of Ylourgne.
FOLLOWING THE ABOVE-RELATED OCCURRENCE, two of
the brothers who had previously desired to visit the haunted castle again
applied to the abbot for this permission, saying that God would surely
aid them in avenging the abduction of Theophile's body as well as the
taking of many others from consecrated ground. Marvelling at the hardi-
hood ol these lusty monks, who proposed to beard the Arch-enemy in his
lair, the abbot permitted them to go forth, furnished with asper-gilluses
and flasks of holy water, and bearing great crosses of hornbeam, such
as would have served for maces with which to brain an armored knight.
The monks, whose names were Bernard and Stephane, were boldly up
at middle forenoon to assail the evil stronghold. It was an arduous
climb, among overhanging boulders and along slippery scarps; but both
were stout and agile, and, moreover, well accustomed to such climbing.
Since the day was sultry and airless, their white robes were soon stained
with sweat; but pausing only for brief prayer, they pressed on; and in
good season they neared the castle, upon whose gray, time-eroded ram-
parts they could still descry no evidence of occupation or activity.
The deep moat that had once surrounded the place was now dry, and
had been partly filled by crumbling earth and detritus from the walls.
The drawbridge had rotted away; but the blocks of the barbican, collaps-
ing into the moat, had made a sort of rough causey on which it was
possible to cross. Not without trepidation, and lifting their crucifixes as
warriors lift their weapons in the escalade of an armed fortress, the
brothers climbed over the ruin of the barbican into the courtyard.
This too, like the battlements, was seemingly deserted. Overgrown
nettles, rank grasses and sapling trees were rooted between its paving-
stones. The high, massive donjon, the chapel, and that portion of the
castellated structure containing the great hall, had preserved their main
outlines after centuries of dilapidation. To the left of the broad bailey, a
doorway yawned like the mouth of a dark cavern in the cliffy mass of
the hall- building; and from this doorway there issued a thin, bluish vapor,
writhing in phantom coils toward the unclouded heavens.
Approaching the doorway, the brothers beheld a gleaming of red fires
within, like the eyes of dragons blinking through infernal murk. They felt
MAGAZINE OF HORROR
sure that the place was an outpost of" Erebus, an ante-chamber of the
Pit; but nevertheless, they entered bravely, chanting loud exorcisms and
brandishing their mighty crosses of hornbeam.
Passing through the cavernous doorway, they could see but indistinctly
in the gloom, being somewhat blinded by the summer sunlight they had
left. Then, with the gradual clearing of their vision, a monstrous scene was
limned before them, with ever-growing details of crowding horror and
grotesquery. Some of these details were obscure and mysteriously terri-
fying; others, all too plain, were branded as if with sudden, ineffaceable
hell-fire on the minds of the monks.
They stood on the threshold of a colossal chamber, which seemed to
have been made by the tearing down of upper floors and inner parti-
tions adjacent to the castle hall, itself a room of huge extent. The chamber
seemed to recede through interminable shadow, shafted with sunlight
falling through the rents of ruin: sunlight that was powerless to dissipate
the infernal gloom and mystery.
The monks averred later that they saw many people moving about
the place, together with sundry demons, some of who were shadowy
and gigantic, and others barely to be distinguished from the men. These
people, as well as their familiars, were occupied with the tending of
reverberatory furnaces and immense pear-shaped and gourd-shaped
vessels such as were used in alchemy. Some, also, were stooping above
great fuming Caldrons, like sorcerers busy with the brewing of terrible
drugs. Against the opposite wall, there were two enormous vats, built
of stone and mortar, whose circular sides rose higher than a man's
head, so that Bernard and Stephane were unable to determine their
contents. One of the vats gave forth a whitish glimmering; the other,
a ruddy luminosity.
Near the vats, and somewhat between them, there stood a sort of low
couch or litter, made of luxurious, weirdly figured fabrics such as the
Saracens weave. On this the monks discerned a dwarfish being, pale
and wizened, with eyes of chill flame that shone like evil beryls through
the dusk. The dwarf, who had all the air of a feeble moribund, was
supervising the toils of the men and their familiars.
The dazed eyes of the brothers began to comprehend other details.
They saw that several corpses, among which they recognized that of Theo-
phile, were lying on the middle floor, together with a heap of human
bones that had been wrenched asunder at the joints, and great lumps
of flesh piled like the carvings of butchers. One of the men was lifting
The Colossus of Ylourgne
the bones and dropping them into a cauldron beneath which there glowed
a ruby-colored fire; and another was flinging the lumps of flesh into a
tub filled with some hueless liquid that gave forth an evil hissing as of a
Others had stripped the grave-clothes from one of the cadavers, and
were starting to assail it with long knives. Others still were mounting rude
flights oi stone stairs along the walls of the immense vats, carrying vessels
filled with semi-liquescent matters which they emptied over the high rims.
Appalled at this vision of human and Satanic turpitude, and feeling a
more than righteous indignation, the monks resumed their chanting of
sonorous exorcisms and rushed forward. Their entrance, it appeared,
was not perceived by the heinously occupied crew of sorcerers and devils.
Bernard and Stephane, filled with an ardor of godly wrath, were about
to fling themselves upon the butchers who had started to assail the dead
body. This corpse they recognized as being that of a notorious outlaw,
named Jacques Le Loupgarou, who had been slain a few days previous
in combat with the officers of the state. Le Loupgarou, noted for his
brawn, his cunning and his ferocity, had long terrorized the woods and
highways of Averoigne. His great body had been half eviscerated by the
swords of the constabulary; and his beard was stiff and purple with the
dried blood of a ghastly wound that had cloven his face from temple
to mouth. He had died unshriven, but nevertheless, the monks were un-
willing to see his helpless cadaver put to some unhallowed use beyond
the surmise of Christians.
The pale, malignant-looking dwarf had now perceived the brothers.
They heard him cry out in a shrill, imperatory tone that rose above
the ominous hiss of the cauldrons and the hoarse mutter of men and
They knew not his words, which were those of some outlandish tongue
and sounded like an incantation. Instantly, as if in response to an order,
two of the men turned from their unholy chemistry, and lifting copper
basins filled with an unknown, fetid liquor, hurled the contents of these
vessels in the faces of Bernard and Stephane.
The brothers were blinded by the stinging fluid, which bit their flesh
as with many serpents' teeth; and they were overcome by the noxious
fumes, so that their great crosses dropped from their hands and they
both fell unconscious on the casde floor.
Recovering anon their sight and their other senses, they found that
their hands had been tied with heavy thongs of gut, so that they were
now helpless and could no longer wield their crucifixes or the sprinklers
of holy water which they carried.
In this ignominious condition, they heard the voice of the evil dwarf,
commanding them to arise. They obeyed, though clumsily and with dif-
ficulty, being denied the assistance of their hands. Bernard, who was still
sick with the poisonous vapor he had inhaled, fell twice before he suc-
ceeded in standing erect; and his discomfiture was greeted with a cachin-
nation of foul, obscene laughter from the assembled sorcerers.
Now, standing, the monks were taunted by the dwarf, who mocked
and reviled them with appalling blasphemies such as could be uttered
only by a. bond-servant of Satan. At last, according to their sworn testi-
mony, he said to them:
'Return to your kennel, ye whelps of Ialdabaoth, and take with you
message: They that came here as many shall go forth as one."
Then, in obedience to a dreadful formula spoken by the dwarf, two
of the familiars, who had the shape of enormous and shadowy beasts,
approached the body of Le Loupgarou and that of Brother Theophile.
One of the foul demons, like a vapor that sinks into a marsh, entered
the bloo'dy nostrils of Le Loupgarou, disappearing inch by inch, till its
horned and bestial head was withdrawn from sight. The other, in like
manner, went in through the nostrils of Brother Theophile, whose head
lay wried athwart his shoulder on the broken neck.
Then, when the demons had completed their possession, the bodies, in
a fashion horrible to behold, were raised up from the castle floor, the one
with ravelled entrails hanging from its wide wounds, the other with a
head that drooped forward loosely on its bosom. Then, animated by their
devils, the cadavers took up the crosses of hornbeam that had been
dropped by Stephane and Bernard; and using the crosses for bludgeons,
they drove the monks in ignominious flight from the casde, amid a loud,
tempestuous howling of infernal laughter from the dwarf and his necro-
mantic crew. And the nude corpse of Le Loupgarou and the robed cada-
ver of Theophile followed them far on the chasm-riven slopes below
Ylourgne, striking great blows with the crosses, so that the backs of the
two Cistercians were become a mass of bloody bruises.
After a defeat so signal and crushing, no more of the monks were
emboldened to go up against Ylourgne. The whole monastery, thereafter,
devoted itself to triple austerities, to quadrupled prayers; and awaiting
the unknown will of God, and the equally obscure machinations of the
Devil, maintained a pious faith that was somewhat tempered with trepi-
The Colossus of Ylourgne 91
One of the demons entered the bloody nostrils of he Loupgaru.
In time, through goatherds who visited the monks, the tale of Stephane
and Hermard went forth throughout Averoigne, adding to the grievous
alarm that had been caused by the wholesale disappearance of the dead.
No one knew what was really going on in the haunted castle or what
disposition had been made of the hundreds of migratory corpses; for the
light thrown on their fate by the monks story, though lurid and frightful,
was all too inconclusive; and the message sent by the dwarf was somewhat
Everyone felt, however, that some gigantic menace, some black, in-
fernal enchantment, was being brewed within the ruinous walls. The ma-
lign, moribund dwarf was all too readily identified with the missing
sorcerer, Nathaire; and his underlings, it was plain, were Nathaire's
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ALONE IN HIS ATTIC CHAMBER, Gaspard du Nord, stu-
dent of alchemy and sorcery and quondam pupil of Nathaire, sought
repeatedly, but always in vain, to consult the viper-circled mirror. The
glass remained obscure and cloudy, as with the risen fumes of Satanical
alembics or baleful necromantic braziers. Haggard and weary with long
nights of watching, Gaspard knew that Nathaire was even more vigilant
Reading with anxious care the general configuration of the stars, he
found the foretokening of a great evil that was to come upon Averoigne.
But the nature of the evil was not clearly shown.
In the meanwhile the hideous resurrection and migration of the dead
was taking place. All Averoigne shuddered at the manifold enormity.
Like the timeless night of a Memphian plague, terror setded everywhere;
and people spoke of each new atrocity in bated whispers, without daring
to voice the execrable tale aloud. To Gaspard, as to everyone, the whis-
pers came; and likewise, after the horror had apparendy ceased in early
midsummer, there came the appalling story of the Cistercian monks.
Now, at last, the long-baffled watcher found an inkling of that which
he sought The hiding-place of the fugitive necromancer and his appren-
tices, at least, had been uncovered; and the disappearing dead were
clearly traced to their bourn. But still, even for the percipient Gaspard,
there remained an undeclared enigma: the hell-dark sorcery, that Nathaire
was concocting in his remote den. Gaspard felt sure of one thing only:
the dying, splenetic dwarf, knowing that his allotted time was short, and
hating the people of Averoigne with a bottomless rancor, would prepare
an enormous and maleficent magic without parallel.
Even with his knowledge of Nathaire's proclivities, and his awareness
of the well-nigh inexhaustible arcanic science, the reserves ot pit-deep
wizardry possessed by the dwarf, he could form only vague, terrificaJ
conjectures anent the incubated evil. But, as time went on, he felt an
ever-deepening oppression, the adumbration of a monstrous menace
crawling from the dark rim of the world. He could not shake off his
disquietude; and finally he resolved, despite the obvious perils of such
an excursion, to pay a secret visit to the neighborhood of Vlourgne.
Gaspard, though he came of a well-to-do family, was at that time
in straitened circumstances; for his devotion to a somewhat doubtful
science had been disapproved by his lather. His sole income was a
pittance, purveyed secretly to the youth by his mother and sister.
The Colossus of Ylourgne
This sufficed for his meager food, the rent of his room, and a few books
and instruments and chemicals; but it would not permit the purchase of a
horse or even a humble mule for the proposed journey of more than
Undaunted, he set forth on foot, carrying only a dagger and a wallet
of food. He timed his wanderings so that he would reach Ylourgne at
nightfall in the rising of a full moon. Much of his journey lay through
the great, lowering forest, which approached the very walls of Vyones
on the eastern side and ran in a somber arc through Averoigne to the
mouth of the rocky valley below Ylourgne. After a few miles, he emerged
from the mighty wood of pines and oaks and larches; and thenceforward,
for the first day, followed the river Isoile through an open, well-peopled
plain. He spent the warm summer night beneath a beech-tree, in the
vicinity of a small village, not caring to sleep in the lonely woods where
robbers and wolves— and creatures of a more baleful repute— were com-
monly supposed to dwell.
At evening of the second day, after passing through the wildest and
oldest portion of the immemorial wood, he came to the steep, stony
valley that led to his destination. This valley was the fountain-head of
the Isoile, which had dwindled to a mere rivulet. In the brown twilight,
between sunset and moonrise, he saw the lights of the Cistercian monas-
tery; and opposite, on the piled, forbidding scarps, the grim and rugged
mass of the ruinous stronghold of Ylourgne, with wan and wizard-fires
flickering behind its high embrasures. Apart from these tires, there was no
sign of occupation; and he did not hear at any time the dismal noises
reported by the monks.
Caspard waited till the round moon, yellow as the eye of some im-
mense nocturnal bird, had begun to peer above the darkling valley. Then,
very cautiously, since the neighborhood was strange to him, he started
to make his way toward the somber, brooding casde.
Even for one well-used to such climbing, the escalade would have
offered enough difficulty and danger by moonlight. Several times, finding
himself at the bottom of a sheer cliff, he was compelled to retrace his
hard-won progress; and often he was saved from falling only by stunted
shrubs and briars that had taken root in the niggard soil. Breathless,
with torn raiment, and scored and bleeding hands, he gained at length
the shoulders of the craggy height, below the walls.
Here he paused to recover breath and recuperate his flagging strength.
He could see from his vantage the pale reflection as of hidden flames,
that beat upward on the inner wall of the high-built donjon. He heard
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a low hum of confused noises, whose distance and direction were alike
baffling. Sometimes they seemed to float downward from the black batde-
ments, sometimes to issue from subterranean depths far in the hill.
Apart from this remote, ambiguous hum, the night was locked in a
mortal stillness. The very winds appeared to shun the vicinity of the
dread castle. An unseen, clammy cloud of paralyzing evil hung remove-
less upon all things; and the pale, swollen moon, the patroness of witches
and sorcerers, distilled her green poison above the crumbling towers in a
silence older than time.
Gaspard felt the obscenely clinging weight of a more burdenous thing
than his own fatigue when he resumed his progress toward the barbican.
Invisible webs of the waiting, ever-gathering evil seemed to impede him.
The slow, noisome flapping of intangible wings was heavy in his face.
He seemed to breathe a surging wind from unfathomable vaults and
caverns of corruption. Inaudible howlings, derisive or minatory, thronged
in his ears, and foul hands appeared to thrust him back. But, bowing his
head as if against a blowing gale, he went on and climbed the mounded
ruin of the barbican, into the weedy courtyard.
The place was deserted, to all seeming; and much of it was still deep
in the shadows of the walls and turrets. Nearby, in the black, silver-
crenelated pile, Gaspard saw the open, cavernous doorway described by
the monks. It was lit from within by a lurid glare, wannish and eerie as
marsh-fires. The humming noise, now audible as a muttering of voices,
issued from the doorway; and Gaspard thought that he could see dark,
sooty figures moving rapidly in the lit interior.
Keeping in the farther shadows, he stole along the courtyard, making
a sort of circuit amid the ruins. He did not dare to approach the open
entrance for fear of being seen; though, as far as he could tell, the place
He came to the donjon, on whose upper wall the wan light flickered
obliquely through a sort of rift in the long building adjacent. This open-
ing was at some distance from the ground; and Gaspard saw that it
had been formerly the door to a stone balcony. A flight of broken steps
led upward along the wall to the half-crumbled remnant of this balcony;
and it occurred to the youth that he might climb the steps and peer
unobserved into the interior of Ylourgne.
Some of the stairs were missing; and all were in heavy shadow. Gas-
pard found his way precariously to the balcony, pausing once in consid-
erable alarm when a fragment of the worn stone, loosened by his footfall,
dropped with a loud clattering on the courtyard flags below. Apparently it
The Colossus of Ylourgne
was unheard by the occupants of the castle; and after a little he resumed
Cautiously he neared the large, ragged opening through which the light
poured upward. Crouching on a narrow ledge, which was all that re-
mained of the balcony, he peered in on a most astounding and terrific
spectacle, whose details were so bewildering that he could barely com-
prehend their import till after many minutes.
It was plain that the story told by the monks— allowing for their
religious bias — hat! been far from extravagant. Almost the wl.ole interior
of the half- ruined pile had been torn down and dismantled to afford
room for the activities of Nathaire. The demolition in itself was a super-
human task for whose execution the sorcerer must have employed a
legion of familiars as well as his ten pupils.
The vast chamber was fitfully illumed by the glare of athanors and
braziers; and, above all, by the weird glimmering from the huge stone
vats. Even from his high vantage, the watcher could not see the contents
of these vats; but a white luminosity poured upward from the rim of one
of them, and a flesh-tinted phosphorescence from the other.
Gaspard had seen certain of the experiments and evocations of Na-
thaire, and was all too familiar with the appurtenances of the dark arts.
Within certain limits, he was not squeamish; nor was it likely that he
would have been terrified overmuch by the shadowy, uncouth shapes of
demons who toiled in the pit below him side by side with the blackclad
pupils of the sorcerer. But a cold horror clutched his heart when he saw
the incredible, enormous thing that occupied the central floor: the colossal
human skeleton a hundred leet in length stretching for more than the
extent of the old casde hall; the skeleton whose bony right foot the group
of men and devils, to all appearance, were busily clothing with human
The prodigious and macabre framework, complete in every part, with
ribs like the arches of some Satanic nave, shone as if it were still heated
by the fires of an infernal welding. It seemed to shimmer and burn with
unnatural life, to quiver with malign disquietude in the flickering glare
and gloom. The great finger-bones, curving claw-like on the floor, ap-
peared as if they were about to close upon some helpless prey. The
tremendous teeth were set in an everlasting grin of sardonic cruelty and
malice. The hollow eye-sockets, deep as Tartarean wells, appeared to
seethe with myriad, mocking lights, like the eyes of elementals swimming
upward in obscene shadow.
Gaspard was stunned by the shocking and stupendous fantasmagoria
MAGAZINE OF HORROR
that yawned before him like a peopled hell. Afterward he was never
wholly sure of certain things, and could remember very little of the
actual manner in which the work of the men and their assistants was
being carried on. Dim, dubious, bat-like creatures seemed to be flitting
to and fro between one of the stone vats and the group that toiled like
sculptors, clothing the bony foot with a reddish plasm which they applied
and molded like so much clay. Gaspard thought, but was not certain
later, that this plasm, which gleamed as if with mingled blood and fire,
was being brought from the rosy-litten vat in vessels borne by the claws
of the shadowy flying creatures. None of them, however, approached
the other vat, whose wannish light was momendy enfeebled, as if it were
He looked for the minikin figure of Nathaire, whom he could not
distinguish in the crowded scene. The sick necromancer— ii he had not
already succumbed to the litde-known disease that had long wasted him
like an inward flame — was no doubt hidden from view by the colossal
skeleton and was perhaps directing the labors of the men and demons
from his couch.
Spellbound on that precarious ledge the watcher failed to hear the
furtive, catlike feet that were climbing behind him on the ruinous stairs.
Too late, he heard the clink of a loose fragment close upon his heels;
and turning in startlement, he toppled into sheer oblivion beneath the
impact of a cudgel-like blow, and did not even know that the beginning
fall of his body toward the courtyard had been arrested by his assailant's
GASPARD, RETURNING FROM HIS DARK PLUNGE into
Lethean emptiness, found himself gazing into the eyes of Nathaire: those
eyes of liquid night and ebony, in which swam the chill, malignant fires
of stars that had gone down to irremeable peredition. For some time, in
the confusion of his senses, he could see nothing but the eyes, which
seemed to have drawn him forth like baleful magnets from his swoon.
Apparendy disembodied, or set in a face too vast for human cognizance,
they burned before him in chaotic murk. Then, by degrees, he saw the
other features of the sorcerer, and the details of a lurid scene; and became
aware of his own situation.
Trying to lift his hands to his aching head, he. found that they were
bound tighdy together at the wrists. He was half lying, half leaning
The Colossus of Ylourgne 97
against an object with hard planes and edges that irked his back. This
object he discovered to be a sort of alchemic furnace, or athanor, part
of a litter of disused apparatus that stood or lay on the casde floor.
Cupels, aludels, cucurbits, like enormous gourds and globes, were mingled
in strange confusion with piled, iron-clasped books and the sooty caul-
drons and braziers of a darker science.
Nathaire, propped among Saracenic cushions with arabesques of sullen
gold and fulgurant scarlet, was peering upon him from a kind of im-
provised couch, made with bales of Orient rugs and arrases, to whose
luxury the rude walls of the casde, stained with mold and motded with
dead fungi, offered a grotesque foil. Dim lights and evilly swooping
shadows flickered across the scene; and Caspard could hear a guttural
hum of voices behind him. Twisting his head a litde he saw one of the
stone vats, whose rosy luminosity was blurred and blotted by vampire
wings that went to and fro.
"Welcome," said Nathaire, after an interval in which the student
began to perceive the fatal progress of illness in the pain-pinched features
before him. "So Gaspard du Nord has come to see his former master!"
The harsh, imperatory voice, with demoniac volume, issued appallingly
from the wizened frame.
"I have come," said Gaspard, in laconic echo. "Tell me, what devil's
work is this in which I find you engaged ? And what have you done with
the dead bodies that were stolen by your accursed familiars ?"
The frail, dying body of Nathaire, as if possessed by some sardonic
fiend, rocked to and fro on the luxurious couch in a long, violent gust
of laughter, without other reply.
"If your looks bear creditable witness," said Gaspard, when the
baleful laughter had ceased, "you are mortally ill, and the time is short
in which you can hope to atone for your deeds of malefice and make
your peace with God — if indeed it still be possible for you to make peace.
What foul and monstrous brew are you preparing, to insure the ultimate
perdition of your soul ?"
The dwarf was again seized by a spasm of diabolic mirth.
"Nay, nay, my good Gaspard," he said finally. "I have made another
bond than the one with which puling cowards try to purchase the good
will and forgiveness of the heavenly Tyrant. Hell may take me in the end,
if it will; but Hell has paid, and will still pay, an ample and goodly price.
I must die soon, it is true, for my doom is written in the stars: but in
death, by the grace of Satan, I shall live again, and shall go forth
endowed with the mighty thews of the Anakim, to visit venegeance on
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the people of Averoigne, who have long hated me for my necromantic
wisdom and have held me in derision for my dwarf stature."
"What madness is this whereof you dream ?" asked the youth, appalled
by the more than human frenzy and malignity that seemed to dilate the
shrunken frame of Nathaire and stream in Tartarean luster from his
"It is no madness, but a veritable thing: a miracle, mayhap, as life
itself is a miracle . . . From the fresh bodies of the dead, which other-
wise would have rotted away in charnel foulness, my pupils and lamiliars
are making for me, beneath my instruction, the giant form whose skele-
ton you have beheld. My soul, at the death of its present body, will
pass into this colossal tenement through the working of certain spells
of transmigration in which my faithful assistants have also been careful
"If you had remained with me, Gaspard, and had not drawn back in
your petty, pious squeamishness from the marvels and profundities that
I should have unveiled for you, it would now be your privilege to share
in the creation of this prodigy . . . And if you had come to Ylourgne a
little sooner in your presumptuous prying, I might have made a certain
use of your stout bones and muscles ... the same use I have made of
other young men, who died through accident or violence. But it is too
late even for this, since the building of the. bones has been completed,
and it remains only to invest them with human flesh. My good Gas-
pard, there is nothing whatever to be done with you — except to put you
safely out of the way. Providentially, for this purpose, there is an oubliette
beneath the casde: a somewhat dismal lodging-place, no doubt, but one
that was made strong and deep by the grim lords of Ylourgne."
Gaspard was unable to frame any reply to this sinister and extraordin-
ary speech. Searching his horror-frozen brain for words, he felt himself
seized from behind by the hands of unseen beings who had come, no
doubt, in answer to some gesture of Nathaire: a gesture which the captive
had not perceived. He was blindfolded with some heavy fabric, moldy and
musty as a grave-cloth, and was led stumbling through the litter of
strange apparatus, and down a winding flight of ruinous, narrow stairs
from which the noisome breath of stagnating water, mingled with the
oily muskiness of serpents, arose to meet him.
He appeared to descend for a distance that would admit of no return.
Slowly the stench grew stronger, more insupportable; the stairs ended; a
door clanged sullenly on rusty hinges; and Gaspard was thrust forward
The Colossus of Ylourgne
on a damp, uneven floor that seemed to have been worn away by my-
He heard the grating of a ponderous slab of stone. His wrists were
untied, the bandage was removed from his eyes, and he saw by the light
of flickering torches a round hole that yawned in the oozing floor at his
feet. Beside it was the lifted slab that had formed its lid. Before he could
turn to see the faces of his captors, to learn if they were men or devils,
he was seized rudely and thrust into the gaping hole. He fell through
Erebus-like darkness, for what seemed an immense distance, before he
struck bottom. Lying half stunned in a shallow, fetid pool, he heard the
funereal thud of the heavy slab as it slid back into place far above him.
GASPARD WAS REVIVED, AFTER A WHILE, by the dull-
ness of the water in which he lay. His garments were half soaked; and
the slimy, mephitic pool, as he discovered by his first movement, was
within an inch of his mouth. He could hear a steady, monoton-
ous dripping, somewhere in the rayless night of his dungeon. He stag-
gered to his feet, finding that his bones were still intact, and began a
cautious exploration. Foul drops fell upon his hair and lifted face as he
moved; his feet slipped and splashed intherotten water; there were angry,
vehement hissings, and serpentine coils slithered coldly across his ankles.
He soon came to a rough wall of stone, and following the wall, with his
fingertips, he tried to determine the extent of the oubliette. The place was
more or less circular, without corners, and hefailed to form any just idea
of its circuit. Somewhere in his wanderings, he found a shelving pile of
rubble that rose above the water against the wall; and here, for the sake
of comparative dryness and comfort, he ensconced himself, after dis-
possessing a number of outraged reptiles. The creatures, it seemed, were
inoffensive, and probably belonged to some species of water-snake; but he
shivered at the touch of their clammy scales.
Sitting on the rubble-heap, Gaspard reviewed in his mind the various
horrors of a situation that was infintely dismal and desperate. He had
learned the incredible, soul-shaking secret of Ylourgne, the unimaginably
monstrous and blasphemous project of Nathaire; but now, immured in
this noisome hole as in a subterranean tomb, in depths beneath the
devil-haunted pile, he could not even warn the world of imminent menace.
The wallet of food, now more than half empty, with which he had
started from Vyones, was still hanging at his back; and he assured him-
MAGAZINE OF HORROR
self by investigation that his captors had not troubled to deprive him of
his dagger. Gnawing a crust of stale bread in the darkness, and caressing
with his hand the hilt of the precious weapon, he sought for some rift
in the all-environing despair.
He had no means of measuring the black hours that went over him
with the slowness of a slime-clogged river, crawling in blind silence to
a subterrene sea. The ceaseless drip of water, proably from sunken
hill-springs that had supplied the casde in former years, alone broke
the stillness; but the sound became in time an equivocal monotone that
suggested to his half-delirious mind the mirthless arid perpetual chuckling
of unseen imps. At last, from sheer bodily exhaustion, he fell into troubled,
He could not tell if it were night or noon in the world without when he
awakened; for the same stagnant darkness, unrelieved by ray or glimmer,
brimmed the oubliette. Shivering, he became aware of a steady draft that
blew upon him: a dank, unwholesome air, like the breath of unsunned
vaults that had wakened into cryptic life and activity during his sleep,
tie had not noticed the draft heretofore; and his numb brain was startled
into sudden hope by the intimation which it conveyed. Obviously there
was some underground rift or channel through which the air entered;
and this rift might somehow prove to be a place of egress from the
Getting to his feet, he groped uncertainly forward in the direction of
the draft. He stumbled over something that crackled and broke beneath
his heels, and narrowly checked himself from falling on his face in the
slimy, serpent-haunted pool. Before he could investigate the obstruction
or resume his blind groping, he heard a harsh, grating noise above, and
a wavering shaft of yellow light came down through the oubliette's open-
ed mouth. Dazzled, he looked up, and saw the round hole ten or twelve
feet overhead, through which a dark hand had reached down with a
flaring torch. A small basket, containing a loaf of coarse bread and a
bottle of wine, was being lowered at the end of a cord.
Gaspard took the bread and wine, and the basket was drawn up.
Before the withdrawal of the torch and the re-depositing of the slab,
he contrived to make a hasty survey of his dungeon.
The place was roughly circular, as he had surmised, and was perhaps
fifteen feet in diameter. The thing over which he had stumbled was a
human skeleton, lying half on the rubble-heap, half in the filthy water.
It was brown and rotten with age, and its garments had long melted
away in patches of liquid mold.
The Colossus of Ylourgne
The walls were guttered and runneled by centuries of ooze, and their
very stone, it seemed, was rotting slowly to decay. In the opposite side,
at the bottom, lie saw the opening he had suspected: a low mouth, not
much bigger than a fox's hole, into which the sluggish water flowed.
His heart sank at the sight; for, even if the water were deeper than it
seemed, the hole was far too strait for the passage of a man's body.
In a state of hopelessness that was like a veritable suffocation, he found
his way back to the rubble-pile when the light had been withdrawn.
The loaf of bread and the bottle of wine were still in his hands. Mech-
anically, with dull, sodden hunger, he munched and drank. Afterward
he felt stronger; and the sour, common wine served to warm him and
perhaps helped to inspire him with idea which he presently conceived.
Finishing the bottle, he found his way across the dungeon to the low,
burrow-like hole. The entering air-current had strengthened, and this he
took for a good omen. Drawing his dagger, he started to pick with the
point at the half-rotten, decomposing wall, in an effort to enlarge the
opening. He was forced to kneel in noisome silt; and the writhing coils
of water-snakes, hissing frightfully, crawled across his legs as he worked.
Evidendy the hole was their means of ingress and egress, to and from
The stone crumbled readily beneath his dagger, and Gaspard forgot
the horror and ghastliness of bis situation in the hope of escape. He had
no means of knowing the thickness of the wall, or the nature and extent
of the subterranes that lay beyond; but he felt sure that diere was some
channel of connection with the outer air.
For hours or days, it seemed, he toiled with his dagger, digging
blindly at the solt wall and removing the debris that splashed in the
water .beside him. After a while, on his belly, he crept into the hole he
had enlarged; and burrowing like some laborious mole, he made his
way onward inch by inch.
At last, to his prodigious relief, the dagger-point went through into
empty space. He broke away with his hands the thin shell of obstructing
stone that remained; then, crawling on in the darkness, he found that he
could stand upright on a sort of shelving floor.
Straightening his cramped limbs, he moved on very cautiously. He
was in narrow vault or tunnel, whose sides he could touch simultaneously
with his outstretched finger-tips. The floor was a downward incline; and
the water deepened, rising to his knees and then to his waist. Probably
the place had once been used as an underground exit from the castle:
and the roof, falling in, had dammed the water.
MAGAZINE OF HORROR
More than a little dismayed, Gaspard began to wonder if he had
exchanged the foul, skeleton-haunted oubliette for something even worse.
The night around and Wore him was still untouched by aiiv ray, and
the air-current, though strong, was laden with a dankness and moldiness
as of interminable vaults.
Touching the tunnel-sides at intervals as he plunged hesistantly into
the deepening water, he found a sharp angle, giving upon free space at
his right. The space proved to be the mouth of an intersecting passage,
whose flooded bottom was at least level and went no deeper into the
stagnant foulness. Exploring it, he stumbled over the beginning of a
flight of upward steps. Mounting these through the shoaling water,
he soon found himself on dry stone.
The stairs, narrow, broken, irregular, without landings, appeared to
wind in some eternal spiral that was coiled lighdessly about the bowels
of Ylourgne. They were close and stifling as a tomb, and plainly they
were not the source of the air-current which Gaspard had started to
follow. Whither they would lead he knew not; nor could he tell if they
were the same stairs by which he had been conducted to his dungeon.
But he climbed steadily, pausing only at long intervals to regain his
breath as best he could in the dead, mephitis-burdened air.
At length, in the solid darkness, far above, he began to hear a mysteri-
ous muffled sound: a dull but recurrent crash as of mighty blocks and
masses of falling stone. The sound was unspeakably ominous and dismal,
and it seemed to shake the unfathomable walls around Gaspard, and to
thrill with a sinister vibration in the steps on which he trod.
He climbed now with redoubled caution and alertness, stopping ever
and anon to listen. The recurrent crashing noise grew louder, more
ominous, as if it were immediately above; and the listener crouched on
the dark stairs for a time that might have been many minutes, without
daring to go farther. At last, with disconcerting suddenness, the sound
came to an end, leaving a strained and tearful stillness.
With many baleful conjectures, not knowing what fresh enormity he
should find, Gaspard ventured to resume his climbing. Again, in the
blank and solid stillness, he was met by a sound: the dim, reverberant
chanting of voices, as in some Satanic mass or liturgy with dirge-like
cadences that turned to intolerably soaring paeans of evil trimph. Long
before he could recognize the words, he shivered at the strong, malefic
throbbing of the measured rhythm, whose fall and rise appeared some-
how to correspond to the heart-beats of some colossal demon.
The stairs turned, for the hundredth time in their tortuous spiral; and
The Colossus of Ylourgne
coming, forth from that long midnight, Gaspard blinked in the wan
glimmering that streamed toward him from above. The choral voices
met him in a more sonorous burst of internal sound, and he knew the
words for those of a rare and potent incantation, used by sorcerers for
a supremely foul, supremely maleficent purpose. Affrightedly, as he
climbed the last steps, he knew the thing that was taking place amid
the ruins of Ylourgne.
Lifting his head warily above the casde floor, he saw that the stairs
ended in a far corner of the vastroom in which he had beheld Nathaire's
unthinkable creation. The whole extent of the internally dismantled build-
ing lay before him, filled with a weird glare in which the beams of the
slightly gibbous moon were mingled with the ruddy flames of dying
athanors and the coiling, multi-colored tongues that rose from necro-
Gaspard, for an instant, was puzzled by the flood of full moonlight
amid the ruins. Then he saw that almost the whole inner wall of the
castle, giving on the courtyard, had been removed. It was the tearing-
down of the prodigious blocks, no doubt through an extrahuman labor
levied by sorcery, that he had heard during his ascent from the subterrene
vaults. His blood curdled, he felt an actual horripilation, as he realized
the purpose for which the wall had been demolished.
It was evident that a whole day and part of another night had gone
by since his immurement; for the moon rode high in the pale sapphire
welkin. Bathed in its chilly glare, the huge vats no longer emitted their
eerie and electric phosphorescence. The couch of Saracen fabrics, on which
Gaspard had beheld the dying dwarf, was now half hidden from view by
the mounting fumes of braziers and thuribles, amid which the sorcerer's
ten pupils, clad in sable and scarlet, were performing their hideous and
repugnant rite, with its malefically measured litany.
Fearfully, as one who confronts an apparition reared up from nether
hell, Gaspard beheld the colossus that lay inert as if in Cyclopean sleep
on the casde flags. The thing was no longer a skeleton: the limbs were
rounded into bossed, enormous thews, like the limbs of Biblical giants;
the flanks were like an insuperable wall; the deltoids of the mighty chest
were broad as platforms; the hands could have crushed the bodies of
men like millstones . . . But the face of the stupendous monster, seem in
profile athruari the louring moon, was the face of the Satanic dwarf,
Nathaire— re-magnified a hundred times, but the same in its implacable
madness and malevolence !
The vast bosom seemed to rise and fall; and during a pause of the
104 MAGAZINE OF HORROR
necromantic ritual, Gaspard heard the unmistakable sound ot mighty
respiration. The eye in the profile was closed; but its lid appeared to
tremble like a giant curtain, as if the monster were about to wake; and
the outflung hand, with fingers pale and bluish as a row of corpses,
twitched unquiedy on the castle flags.
An insupportable terror seized the watcher; but even this terror could
not induce him to return to the noisome vaults he had left. With in-
finite hesitation and trepidation, he stole forth from the corner, keeping
in a zone of ebon shadow that flanked the castle wall.
As he went, he saw for moment, through bellying folds of vapor, the
couch on which the shrunken form of Nathaire was lying pallid and
motionless. It seemed that the dwarf was dead, or had fallen into a
stupor preceding death. Then the choral voices, crying their dreadful
incantation, rose higher in Satanic triumph; the vapors eddied like a
hell-born cloud, coiling about the sorcerers in python-shaped volumes,
and hiding again the Orient couch and its corpse-like occupant.
\ thralldom of measureless evil oppressed the air. Gaspard felt that
the awful transmigration, evoked and implored with ever-swelling, liturgic
blasphemies, was about to take place— bad perhaps already occurred, lie
thought that the breathing giant stirred, like one who tosses in light
Soon the towering, massively recumbent bulk was interposed between
Gaspard and the chanting necromancers. They had not seen him; and he
now dared to run swiftly, and gained the courtyard unpursued and
unchallenged. Thence, without looking back, he fled like a devil-hunted
thing upon the steep and chasm-river slopes below Ylourgne.
AFTER THE CESSATION OF THE EXODUS OF LICHES,
a universal terror still prevailed; a wide-flung shadow of apprehension,
internal and funereal, lay stagnantly on Averoigne. There were strange
and disastrous portents in the aspect of the skies: flame- bearded meteors
had been seen to tall beyond the eastern hills; a comet, far in the south,
had swept the stars with its luminous bosom for a few nights, and had
then faded, leaving among men the prophecy of bale and pestilence to
come. By day the air was oppressed and sultry, and the blue heavens
were heated as if by whitish fires. Clouds of thunder, darkling and with-
drawn, shook their fulgurant lances on the far horizons, like some be-
leaguering Titan army. A murrain, such as would come from the work-
The Colossus of Ylourgne
ing of wizard spells, was abroad among the catde. All these signs and
prodigies were an added heaviness on the burdened spirits of men, who
went to and fro in daily fearofthe hidden preparations and machinations
But, until the actual breaking-forth of the incubated menace, there was
no one, save Caspard du Nord, who had knowledge of its veritable
form. And Gaspard, fleeing headlong beneath the gibbous moon toward
Vyones, and fearing to hear the tread of a colossal pursuer at any
moment, had thought it more than useless to give warning in such towns
and villages as lay upon his line of flight. Where, indeed — even if warned
— could men hope to hide themselves from the awful thing, begotten by
Hell on the ravished charnel, that would walk forth like the Anakim to
visit its roaring wrath on a trampled world ?
So, all that night, and throughout the day that followed, Gaspard
du Nord, with the dried slime of the oubliette on his briar-shredded
raiment, plunged like a madman through the towering woods that were
haunted by robbers and werewolves. The westward-falling moon flick-
ered in his eyes betwixt the gnarled, somber boles as he ran; and the
dawn overtook him with the pale shafts of its searching arrows. The noon
poured over him its white sultriness, like furnace-heated metal sublimed
into light; and the clotted filth that clung to his tatters was again turned
into slime by his own sweat. But still he pursued his nightmare-harried
way, while a vague, seemingly hopeless plan took form in his mind.
In the interim, several monks of the Cistercian brotherhood, watching
the gray walls of Ylourgne at early dawn with their habitual vigilance,
were the first, after Gaspard to behold the monstrous horror created by
the necromancers. Their account may have been somewhat tinged by a
pious exaggeration; but they swore that the giant rose abruptly, standing
more than waist-high above the ruins of the barbican, amid a sudden
leaping of long-tongued fires and a swirling of pitchy fumes erupted
from Malebolge. The giant's head was level with the high top of the
donjon, and his right arm, outthrust, lay like a bar of stormy cloud
athwart the new-risen sun.
The monks fell grovelling to their knees, thinking that the Archfoe
himself had come forth, using Ylourgne for his gateway from the Pit.
Then, across the mile-wide valley, they heard a thunderous peal of de-
moniac laughter; and the giant, climbing over the mounded barbican at
a single step, began to descend the scarped and craggy hill.
When he drew nearer, bounding from slope to slope, his features were
MAGAZINE OF HORROR
manifestly those of some great devil animated with ire and malice toward
the sons of Adam. His hair, in matted locks, streamed behind him like a
mass of black pythons; his naked skin was livid and pale and cadaverous,
like the skin <>i the dead; but beneath it, the stupendous thews of a I itan
swelled and rippled. The eyes, wide and glaring, flamed like lidless
cauldrons heated by the fires of the unplunibed Pit.
The rumor of his coming passed like a gale of terror through the
Monastery. Many of the Brothers, deeming discretion the better part
of religious fervor, hid themselves in the stone-hewn cellars and vaults.
Others crouched in their cells, mumbling and shrieking inchoherent pleas
to all the Saints. Still others, the most courageous, repaired in a body
to the chapel and knelt in solemn prayer before the wooden Christ on the
. great crucifix.
Bernard and Stephane, now somewhat recovered from their grievous
beating, alone dared to watch the advance of the giant. Their horror was
inexpressibly increased when they began to recognize in the colossal
features a magnified likeness to the lineaments of the evil dwarf who had
presided over the dark unhallowed activities of Ylourgne; and the laughter
of the colossus, as he came down the valley, was like a tempest-borne
echo of the damnable cachinnation that had followed their ignominious
flight from the haunted stronghold. To licmard and Stephane, however,
it seemed merely that the dwarf, who was no doubt an actual demon, had
chosen to appear in his natural form.
Pausing in the valley-bottom, the giant stood opposite the monastery
with his flame-filled eyes on a level with the window from which Bernard
and Stephane were peering. He laughed again— an awful laugh, like a
subterranean rumbling— and then, stopping, he picked up a handful
of boulders as if they had been pebbles, and proceeded to pelt the mon-
astery. The boulders crashed against the walls, as if hurled from great
catapults or mangonels of war: but the stout building held, though sha-
Then, with both hands, the colossus tore loose an immense rock that
was deeply embedded in the hillside; and lifting this rock, he flung it at
the stubborn walls. The tremendous mass broke in an entire side of the
chapel; and those who had gathered therein were found later, crushed
into bloody pulp amid the splinters of their carven Christ.
After that, as if disdaining to palter any further with a prey so insigni-
ficant, the colossus turned bis back on the little monastery, and like some
fiend-born Goliath, went roaring down the valley into Averoigne.
As he departed, Bernard and Stephane, still watching from their, win-
The Colossus of Ylourgne
dow, saw a thing they had not perceived heretofore: a huge basket made
of planking, that hung suspended by ropes between the giant's shoulders.
In the basket, ten men — the pupils and assistants of Nathaire — were being
carried like so many dolls or puppets in a peddler's pack.
Of the subsequent wanderings and depradations of the colossus, a
hundred legends were long current throughout Averoignc: tales of an
unexampled ghastliness, a wanton diabolism without parallel in all the
histories of that demon-pestered land.
The goatherds of the hills below Ylourgne saw him coming, and fled
with their nimble-footed flocks to the highest ridges. To these he paid
little heed, merely trampling them down like beetles when they could not
escape from his path. Following the hill-stream that was the source ol
the river Isoile, he came to the verge of the great forest; and here, it
is related, he tore up a towering ancient pine by the roots, and snapping
off the mighty boughs with his hands, shaped it into a cudgel which he
With this cudgel, heavier than a battering-ram, he pounded into shape-
less ruin a wayside shrine in the outer woods. A hamlet fell in his way,
and he strode through it, beating in the roofs, toppling the walls, and
crushing the inhabitants beneath his feet.
To and fro in a mad frenzy of destruction, like a death-drunken
Cyclops, he wandered all that day. Even the fierce beasts of the wood-
land ran from him in fear. The wolves, in mid-hunt, abandoned their
quarry and retired, howling dismally with terror, to their rocky dens.
The black, savage hunting-dogs of the forest barons would not face him,
and hid whimpering in their kennels.
Men heard his mighty laughter, his stormy bellowing; they saw his
approach from a distance of many leagues, and fled or concealed them-
selves as best they could. The lords of moated castles called in their
men-at-arms, drew up their draw bridges and prepared a* if for the siege
ol an army. The peasants hid themselves in caverns, in cellars, in old
wells, and even beneath hay-mounds, hoping that he would pass them
by unnoticed. The churches were crammned with refugees who sought
the protection of the Cross, deeming that Satan himself, or one of his
chief lieutenants, had risen to harry and lay waste the land.
In a voice like summer thunder, mad maledictions, unthinkable ob-
scenities and blasphemies were uttered ceaselessly by the giant as he went
to and fro. Men heard him address the litter of black-clad figures that he
carried on his back, in tones of admonishment or demonstration such as
a master would use to his pupils. People who had known Nathaire
MAGAZINE OF HORROR
recognized the incredible likeness of the huge features, the similarity of
the swollen voice, to his. A rumor went abroad that the dwarf sorcerer,
through his loathly bond with the Adversary, had been permitted to
transfer his hateful soul into this Titanic form; and, bearing his pupils
with him, had returned to vent an insatiable ire, a bottomless rancor,
on the world that had mocked him for his puny physique and reviled
him for his sorcery. The chamel genesis of the monstrous avatar was also
rumored; and, indeed, it was said that the colossus had openly pro-
claimed his identity.
It would be tedious to make explicit mention of all the enormities, all
the marauding giant .. . There were people— mostly priests and women,
it is told — whom he picked up as they fled, and pulled limb from limb
as a child might quarter an insect . . . And there were worse things, not
to be named in this record . . .
Many eye-witnesses told how he hunted Pierre, the Lord of La Frenaie,
who had gone forth with his dogs and men to chase a noble stag in the
near-by forest. Overtaking horse and rider, he caught them with one
hand, and bearing them aloft as he strode over the tree-tops, he hurled
them; and the huge bloody blotches the Chateau of La Frenaie in pass-
ing. Then, catching the red stag that Pierre had hunted, he flung it after
them; and the huge bloody blotchers made by the impact of the pashed
bodies remained long on the castle stone, and were never wholly washed
away by the autumn rains and the winter snows.
Countless tales were told, also, of the deeds of obscene sacrilege and
profanation committed by the colossus: of the wooden Virgin that he
flung into the Isoile above Ximes, lashed with human gut to the rotting,
mail-clad body of an infamous oudaw; of the wormy corpses that he
dug with his hands from unconsecrated graves and hurled into the court-
yard of the Benedictine abbey of Perigon; of the Church of Ste. Zenobie,
which he buried with its priests and congregation beneath a mountain
of ordure made by the gathering of all the dungheaps from neighboring
BACK AND FORTH, IN AN IRREGULAR, DRUNKEN,
zigzag course, from end to end and side to side of the harried realm, the
giant strode without pause, like an energumen possessed by some implac-
able fiend of mischief and murder, leaving behind him, as a reaper
The Colossus of Ylourgne
leaves his swath, an ever-lengthening zone of havoc, of rapine and car-
nage. And when the sun, blackened by the smoke of burning villages,
had set luridly beyond the forest, men still saw him moving in the dusk,
and heard still the portentous rumbling of his mad, stormy cachinnation.
Nearing the gates of Vyones at sunset, Caspard du Nord saw behind
him, through gaps in the ancient wood, the far-off head and shoulders
of the terrible colossus, who moved along the Isoile, stooping from sight
at intervals in some horrid deed.
Though numb with weariness and exhaustion, Caspard quickened his
flight. He did not believe, however, that the monster would try to invade
Vyones, the especial object of Nathalie's hatred and malice, before the
following day. The evil soul of the sorcerous dwarf, exulting in its almost
infinite capacity for harm and destruction, would defer the crowning act
of vengeance, and would continue to terrorize, during the night, the
oudying villages and rural districts.
In spite of his rags and filth, which rendered him practically unrecog-
nizable and gave him a most disreputable air, Gaspard was admitted
without question by the guards at the city gate. Vyones was already
thronged with people who had fled to the sanctuary of its stout walls
from the adjacent countryside; and no one, not even of the most dubious
character, was denied admittance. The walls were lined with archers
and pike-bearers, gathered in readiness to dispute the entrance of the
giant. Crossbowmen were stationed above the gates, and mangonels
were mounted at short intervals along the entire circuit of the ramparts.
The city seethed and hummed like an agitated hive.
Hysteria and pandemonium prevailed in the streets. Pale, panic-stricken
faces milled everywhere in an aimless stream. Hurrying torches flared
dolorously in the twilight that deepened as if ,with the shadow of im-
pending wings arisen from Erebus. The gloom was clogged with intan-
gible fear, with webs of stifling oppression. Through all this rout of wild
disorder and frenzy, Gaspard, like a spent but indomitable swimmer
breasting some tide of eternal, viscid nightmare, made his way slowly
to his attic lodgings.
Afterward, he could scarcely remember eating and drinking. Overworn
beyond the limit of bodily and spiritual endurance, he threw himself down
on his pallet without removing his ooze- stiffened tatters, and slept soddenly
till an hour halt-way between midnight and dawn.
He awoke with the death-pale beams of the gibbous moon shining
upon him through his window; and rising, spent the balance of the night
in making certain occult preparations which, he felt, offered the only
MAGAZINE OF HORROR
possibility of coping with the fiendish monster that had been created
and animated by Nathaire.
Working feverishly by the light of the westering moon and a single
taper, Gaspard assembled various ingredients of familiar alchemic use
which he possessed, and compounded from these, through a long and
somewhat cabalistic process, a dark-gray powder which he had seen
employed by Nathaire on numerous occassions. He had reasoned that
the colossus, being formed from the bones and flesh of dead men un-
lawfully raised up, and energized only by the soul of a dead sorcerer,
would be subject to the influence of this powder, which Nathaire had
used for the laying of resurrected liches. Thepowder, if cast in the nostrils
of such cadavers, would cause them to return peacefully to their tombs,
and lie down in a renewed slumber of death.
Gaspard made a considerable quantity of the mixture, arguing that
no mere finger-pinch would suffice for the lulling of the gigantic charnel
monstrosity. His guttering yellow candle was dimmed by the white dawn
as he ended the Latin formula of fearsome verbal invocation from which
the compound would derive much of its efficacy. The formula, which
called for. the co-operation of Alastor and other evil spirits, he used
with unwillingness. But he knew that there was no alternative: sorcery
could be fought only with sorcery.
Morning came with new terrors to Vyones. Gaspard had felt, through
a sort of intuition, that the vengeful colossus, who was said to have
wandered with unhuman tirelessness and diabolic energy all night through
Averoigne, would approach the hated city early in the day. His intuition
was confirmed; for scarcely had he finished his occult labors when he
heard a mounting hubbub in the streets, and above the shrills, dismal
clamor of frightened voices, the far-off roaring of the giant.
Gaspard knew that he must lose no time, if he were to post himself
in a place of vantage from which he could throw his powder into the
nostrils of the hundred-foot colossus. The city walls, and even most of the
church spires, were not lofty enough for this purpose; and a brief reflec-
tion told him that the great cathedral, standing at the core of Vyones,
was the one place from whose roof he could front the invader with success.
He felt sure that the men-at-arms on the walls could do little to prevent
the monster from entering and wreaking his malevolent will. No earthly
weapon could injure a being of such bulk and nature; for even a cadaver
of normal size, reared up in this fashion, could be shot full of arrows
or transfixed by a dozen pikes without retarding its progress.
Hastily he filled a huge leathern pouch with the powder; and carrying
The Colossus of Ylourgne
the pouch at his belt, he joined the agitated press of people in the street.
Many were fleeing toward the cathedral, to seek the shelter of its august
sanctity; and he had only to let himself be borne along by the frenzy-
The cathedral nave was packed with worshippers, and solemn masses
were being said by priests whose voices faltered at times with inward
panic. Unheeded by the wan, despairing throng, Gaspard found a flight
of coiling stairs that led tortuously to the gargoyle-warded roof of the
Here he posted himself, crouching behind the stone figure of a cat-
headed griffin. From his vantage he could see, beyond the crowded
spires and gables, the approaching giant, whose head and torso loomed
above the city walls. A cloud of arrows, visible even at the distance,
rose to meet the monster, who apparenty did not even pause to pluck
them from his hide. Great boulders hurled from mangonels were no more
to him than a pelting of gravel; the heavy bolts of arbalests, embedded in
his flesh, were mere slivers.
Nothing could stay his advance. The tiny figures of a company of
pikesmen, who opposed him with outthrust weapons, were swept from the
wall above the eastern gate by a single sidelong blow of the seventy-foot
pine that he bore for a cudgel. Then, having cleared the wall, the colossus
climbed over it into Vyones.
Roaring, chuckling, laughing like a maniacal Cyclops, he strode along
the narrow streets between houses that rose only to his waist, trampling
without mercy everyone who could not escape in time, and smashing
in the roofs with stupendous blows of his bludgeon. With a push of his
left hand he broke off the protruding gables, and overturned the church
steeples .with their bells clanging in dolorous alarm as they went down.
A woful shrieking and wailing of hysteria-laden voices accompanied his
Straight toward the cathedral he came, as Gaspard had calculated,
feeling that the high edifice would be made the special butt of his male-
The streets were now emptied of people; but, as if to hunt them out and
crush them in their hiding-places, the giant thrust his cudgel like a batter-
ing-ram through walls and windows and roofs as he went by. The ruin
and havoc that he left was indescribable.
Soon he loomed opposite the cathedral tower on which Gaspard waited
behind the gargoyle. His head was level with the tower, and his eyes
flamed like wells of burning brimstone as he drew near. His lips were
MAGAZINE OF HORROR
parted over stalactitic fangs in a hateful snarl; and he cried out in a
voice like: the rumbling oi articulate thunder: "Ho! ye puhng priests and
devotees of a powerless God ! Come forth and bow to Nathaire the
master, before he sweeps you into limbo !"
It was then that Caspard, with a hardihood beyond comparison, rose
from his hiding-place and stood in full view of the raging colossus. "Draw
nearer, Nathaire, if indeed it be you, foul robber of tombs and charnels,"
he taunted. "Come close, for I would hold speech with you."
A monstrous look of astonishment dimmed the diabolic rage on the
colossal features. Peering at Gaspard as if in doubt or incredulity, the
giant lowered his lifted cudgel and stepped close to the tower, till his face
was only a few feet from the intrepid student. Then, when he apparently
convinced himself of Gaspard's identity, the look of maniacal wrath
returned, flooding his eyes with Tartarean fire and twisting his lineaments
into a mask of Apollyon-like malignity. His left arm came up in a prodi-
gious arc, with twitching fingers that poised horribly above .the head of
the youth, casting upon him a vulture-black shadow in full-risen sun.
Gaspard saw the white, starded faces of the necromancer's pupils, peering
over his shoulder from their plank-built basket.
"Is it you, Gaspard, my recreant pupil ?" thecolossus roared stormily.
"I thought you were rotting in the oubliette beneath Ylourgne— and now
I find you perched atop of this accursed cathedral which I am about to
demolish ! . . . You had been far wiser tp remain where I left you, my
His breath, as he spoke, blew like a channel-polluted gale on the stu-
dent. His vast fingers, with blackened nails like shovel-blades, hovered in
ogreish menace. Gaspard had furtively loosened his leathern pouch that
hung at his belt, and had untied its mouth. Now, as the twitching fingers
descended toward him, he emptied the contents of the pouch in the giant's
face, and fine powder, mounting in a dark-gray cloud, obscured the
snarling lips and palpitating nostrils from his view.
Anxiously he watched the effect, fearing that the powder might be
useless after all, against the superior arts and Satanical resources of
Nathaire. But miraculously, as it seemed, the evil lambence died in the
pit-deep eyes, as the monster inhaled the flying cloud. His lifted hand, nar-
rowly missing the crouching youth in its sweep, fell lifelessly at his side.
The anger erased from the mighty, contorted mask, as if from the face of
a dead man; the great cudgel fell with a crash to the empty street; and
then, with drowsy, lurching steps and listless, hanging arms, the giant
The Colossus of Ylourgne
turned his back to the cathedral and retraced his way through the deva-
He muttered dreamily to himself as he went; and people who heard
him swore that the voice was no longer the awful, thunder-swollen voice
of Nathaire, but the tones and accents of a multitude of men, amid
which the voices of certain of the ravished dead were recognizable. And
the voice of Nathaire himself, no louder now than in life, was heard at
intervals through the manifold mutterings, as if protesting angrily.
Climbing the eastern wall as it had come, the colossus went to and
fro for many hours, no longer wreaking a hellish wrath and rancor,
but searching, as people thought, for various tombs and graves from
which the hundreds of bodies that composed it had been so foully reft.
From charnel to charnel, from cemetery to cemetery it went, through all
the land; but there was no grave anywhere in which the dead colossus
could lie down.
Then, toward evening men saw it from afar on the red rim of the
sky, digging with its hands in the soft, loamy plain beside the river
Isoile. There, in a monstrous and self-made grave, the colossus laid
itself down, and did not rise again. The ten pupils of Nathaire, it was
believed, unable to descend from their basket, were crushed beneath the
mighty body; for none of them was ever seen thereafter.
For many days no one dared to approach the place where the corpse
lay uncovered in its-dug grave. And so the thing rotted prodigiously
beneath the summer sun, breeding a mighty stench that wrought pestilence
in that portion of Averoigne. And they who ventured to go near in the
following autumn, when the stench had lessened greatly, swore that the
voice of Nathaire, still protesting angrily, was heard by them to issue
from the enormous, rook-haunted bulk.
Of Gaspard du Nord, who had been the savior of the province, it is
related that he lived in much honor to a ripe age, being the one sorcerer
of that region who at no time incurred the disapprobation of the Church.
♦ 4 /♦
AND FLIGHTS OF ANGELS
The Life and Legend of Hannes Bok
By Emil Petaja and Divers Hands
The Bokanalia Memorial Founda-
tion, P.O. Box 14126, San Francisco,
California 941 14; copyright 1968 by
Emil Petaja; 156 pages in loose-leaf
binding, mss. size; profusely illustra-
ted by Bok, plus photographs, etc,
$5.00, postpaid. Limited Edition:
In his straightforward intro-
duction, Emil Petaja says: "You will
find errors, omissions, personal state-
ments made. We regret the errors,
despair for completeness, but we
make no apology for our personal
statements." I found no errors of
fact in those sections of biography
dealing with the time when I was
acquainted with Hannes. The errors
I did note were typographical,
phrases or lines repeated, etc. They
are not serious enough, or frequent
enough to spoil this handsome pro-
duction much, unless you are a per-
fectionist like Bok himself.
Pages 9-75 contain Petaja's
biography of Hannes. It is, as he
indicates, personal — and it certainly
requires no apology whatsoever. It
is discursive here, reticent, there, and
in places seems to lose track of its
organization — but never becomes in-
coherent. When did Hannes die ? It's
discoverable, but not directly. On
page 63 we find: "Ten days before
he died he wrote me more on the
subject (4/2/64) . . ."
At the bottoms of most of the
pages of the biography section, you
will find reproductions of Bok
sketches (heretofore unpublished)
and of small drawings, or excerpts,
which appeared in magazines as il-
lustrations or department heads.
Page 76 has two black-and-
white drawings, then follows seven
pages of drawings and photographs
in blue, followed by a page
of photos in black and white. (I
might add that it was especially
good to see a picture of Farnsworth
The balance of the contents is
as follows: "A Memorial for Hannes
Bok (poem), by Edith Ogutsch; Un-
titled lines on the work of Hannes
Bok upon hearing of his death, by
Roger Zelazny; For Er, ii by Hannes
Bok; Letter from Jack and Edna
Gordes (look carefully here; in my
copy the sheet is misbound, and I
had to turn the page in order to read
page 89 before page 90); Hannes
Bok, by Jack Gaughan; The Remem-
bered Elf, by Ben Indick; Hannes
Bok, by Godfrey Lee; A Non-Eu-
logy, by Donald A. Wollheim;
Hannes Bok Looks at Fantasy Art
and Illustration, an 11 page article
by Bok, reprinted from THE FAN-
SCIENT; Hannes Bok Index; A Fo-
lio of Prints by Hannes Bok; About
Bokanalia; and Candle's End, by
It's a little obscure to me why
the table of contents for the volume
appears on page 130, but there's
probably an explanation. Somehow
it all seems to fit. For despite Emil's
reluctance to say anything but good
about a dear friend deceased, enough
of the follies and idiosyncracies come
through so that those who never
met him can appreciate why it was
that those of us who knew Hannes
could find him both intensely lovable
and no less impossible to get along
with for any length of time. Like
Lovecraft and Clark Ashton Smith,
Hannes Bok knew what he wanted;
realized a price must be paid, and
paid it without whining, though not
without Beethoven-like thunderings,
The book is reproduced on a very
fine grade of white paper, which has
something of the texture of wallpaper
and the print and artwork all come
out with wonderful clarity.
The appreciations that follow Pet-
aja's very moving biography are
all - valuable, as is the reprint of
Hannes' thoughts on fantasy art
Bokanalia Foundation has made
an excellent beginning with its folios
and this book. I say a beginning,
for as desirable as the perpetuation
of Bok's best drawings and sketches
(and perhaps eventually color work)
may be, I suspect (from the few
samples I saw) that his astrological
writings may be even more valuable.
There is a keen mind in the elf, one
of which few of us (and I was not
among that few soon enough) rec-
ognized when we saw him.
I have a good imagination, but
it strains it to the breaking point
to try to imagine any person who
responds to Bok's artwork at all
not wanting to own this book. Just
remember now: contents page
on 130. RAWL
< HHMHHHHHHMr^HHHMHHHHHHHHHMHHHHHHHMHHHHMHHHH t
9t £7. °Wciiu
Petaja's biography of
Hannes Bok (which you will find
reviewed in Inquisitions) does not
include my own favorite anecdote
about Hannes, so I'll repeat it here.
Sometime in 1941, he showed me his
first short story, The Alien Vibra-
tion, which struck me as a very good
tale. So I told him that I'd love
to use it, and how about a drawing
to go along with it At which Hannes
gave a very ballet-like leap into the
air and exclaimed, "Yippee! Not
only is my story accepted, but I
get an illustration by Bok! "
In reference to Robert A. Madle's
letter in the July issue, which related
the story behind the book publication
of The Abyss, Mrs. David H. Keller
writes: "Bob is right in that story
had just been finished when the meet-
ing he refers to took place in 1947.
Dr. Keller had worked on it during
the winter of '46/'47 and had not
presented it to any others for read-
"As a psychiatrist he knew, of
course, that a certain amount of
probing examination of a patient's
affect and past must be done to ob-
tain the cause of disturbance and if
possible effect a cure or at least ease-
ment. But he was strongly opposed
to control or expansion of the mind
... So with the certain knowledge of
the long-serving practitioner, and the
imagination of a fertile mind, he
wrote The Abyss.
"It may be true, as Madle reports,
that in '46 and '47, Keller was 'con-
sidered passe', but I question that
from the many, many requests Dr.
Keller got for stories from publishers.
But from 1941-1945, he was on ac-
tive duty in the army and had no
time for story-writing and had thus
not been published.
"When he did resume writing it
was almost exclusively for his own
pleasure with little, if any, consider-
ation of the market.
"However, after the appearance
of the Life Everlasting collection,
edited and published by Sam Mos-
kowitz's Avalon Press, there were
actually hundreds of pleas from the
hopeful editors of the 'fanzines', to
which he most liberally donated, still
with only occasional submissions to
the trade publications. He was happy
to aid the ambitious fan and content
to write eight (unpublished) books
for his own pleasure, and perhaps
80 stories — never polished or
retyped, just first drafts— and some
40 others re-worked, all written from
the winter of 1945 to 1963, when
invalidism prevented further typing."
It often happens that the notion
that such and such an author is now
passe, and therefore ought not to
be published- is strictly an editor's
private opinion (or a publisher's,
foisted on the editor) and has nothing
to do with whether the people who
buy the magazine might enjoy read-
ing new stories by the author in
question. True it is that styles of
writing, modes of presentation, etc.,
change; and of course the young
reader who wants to be completely
modern and up to date in everything
becomes supersensitive to stories that
other people might say are old-fash-
ioned. Unfortunately, this is the sort
reader who is likely to make the
most noise— write frequent letters to
the editor— while a much larger sec-
tion of the readers may be neither
afraid nor ashamed to recognize and
enjoy a good story just because it
does not confrom to the latest fash-
ions and fads in writing. Nor again,
do most readers feel compelled to
define "good story" according to
the "party line" of the latest trends.
But they aren't the noisy ones ! rf
It would be nice if I could say
that I never fell into that trap, or
caught that infection, but the fact
that it never occurred to me to find
out if my old favorite, Dr. Keller,
was still writing, when I came back
to science fiction magazine editing
in 1950, after a seven year lapse,
suggests that the virus had hit me.
Richard Grose writes: "Two
stories in the July MOH deserve the
'O' accolade in my book. Worms of
the Earth is excellent, although I
prefer several other of Robert E.
Howard's efforts over it. Some say
'Worms' is his best, but The Pool
of the Black One sticks in my mind
as one of my favorites from
"The Castle in the Window ranks
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118 MAGAZINE OF
a 'O' also. It has a mixture of time,
place, and strangeness which I found
wholly satisfying. I agree with you
that H.P. Lovecraft would have liked
this story, as it contains ingredients
he worked with so ably in his own
"A Psychical Invasion rates a 1*,
partly for the black cat in it which
reminds me very much of my own.
Apart from that, the concluding in-
stallment was a big improvement
over part one."
I'm not sure that Worms of the
Earth is my selection for Howard's
best story, either; but it is certainly
a strong candidate, being one which
has retained its emotional effect on
me over the years, so that I would
think of it almost any time I talked
about REH's stories; and the multiple
re-readings when it was run here did
not demean it for me.
Mike Ashley writes from 8 Shur-
land Avenue, Sittingbourne, Kent,
ute finished MOH 22, and leapt at
my typewriter, still overjoyed with
A Psychical Invasion, which at pre-
sent reckoning is perhaps the greatest
horror short I've read, and I am
glad that I read the two parts to-
gether and not with any time
separating them ... I wonder if
I'll still be so in love with this story
in a few months when I have a
chance to view it as lasting!
It wouldn't surprise me. Like Dr..
Muncing, Exorcist, which you
printed a couple of years ago, it
carries superb story, pace, every-
thing; and The Whistling Room. So
please, please more John Silence,
and, for that matter, more Carnacki
and so on . . .
"I notice your remarks about the
Anna Hunger yarns, but my rating
of Come as last is not because I
didn't like it; it's just that 1 preferred
the others. Her yarns tend to grow
on me more. I read the story, and
DID YOU MISS OUR EARLY ISSUES
We Still Have A Few Numbers In Volume One
01, August 1963: Out of pi int.,
?2, Xovcmbei 1963: The Space-Eaten;
Frank Belknap Long; The Faceless Thing,
Edward D. Hoch; The Red Room, H.G.
Weils; lluiigaiy's Female I 'ampiic( article),
Dean Upton; .1 Tough Tussle, Ambrose
Bierce; Doorskimiuer, Donald A. Woll-
heim; The Electric VJuiii, George Waight;
The Other One; Jerryl L. Keane; The Chai-
mer, Archie Binns; Clarissa. Robert A. W.
Lowndes; The Strange Ride of Monowbie
Jukes. Rudyard Kipling.
f A Fehiuary 1964: (hit of pi int.
«4, May 1964: Out of print.
,*' 5, September 196 1: Cassius, Henry
S. Whitehead; Love at Fiisl Sight, J. L.
Miller; Five-Veai Contract, by J. Vernon
Shea; The House of the Worm, XlerleProut;
The lieautiful Suit, H.G. Wells; .1 Stranger
Came to Reap, Stephen Dentinger; The
Morning the Birds Foigot to Sing, Walt
Liebscher; Hones, Donald A. Wollheim;
The Ghostly Rental. Henry James.
MAGAZINE OF HORROR
Coming Next Issue
The procession was quickly marshaled, and attended by her maids, Alice
marched serenely up the aisle. As she had no male relative to do the office,
the duty of giving her in marriage was delegated to me, both she and her
mother declaring that no one more deserved the honor than the one who had
assisted her into the world and brought her through the measels, chicken-
pox and whooping cough. ...
"Now when Doctor Bentley, has pronounced the warning, 'if no one
offers an impediment to the marriage,' " the curate who was acting as master
of ceremonies imformed us, "you will proceed to the communion rail and—"
Somewhere outside, faint and faraway-seeming, but gaining quickly in
intensity, there came a high, thin, whistling sound, piercing, but so high
one could scarcely hear it Rather, it seemed more like a screaming heard
inside the head than any outward sound, and strangely, it seemed to circle
the three of us— the bride, the bridegroom and me— and to cut us definitely
off from the remainder of the party.
"Queer," I thought. "There was no wind a moment ago, yet — " The thin,
high whining closed tighter round us, and involuntarily I put my hands to
my ears to shut out the intolerable sharpness of it, when with a sudden
crash the painted window just above the altar burst as though a missile
struck it, and through the ragged aperture came drifting a billowing yellow
haze — a cloud of saffron dust, it seemed to me— which hovered momentarily
above the unveiled cross upon the altar, then dissipated slowly, like steam
evaporating in winter air.
I felt an odd sensation, almost like a heavy blow delivered to my chest,
as I watched the yellow mist disintegrate, then straightened with a start as
another sound broke on my hearing.
"Alice! Alice, where are you?" the bridegroom called, and through the
bridal party ran a wondering murmur:
"Where's Alice? She was right here a moment ago! Where is
she? Where's she gone?"
I blinked my eyes and shook my head. It was so. Where the bride had
stood, her fingers resting lightly on my arm, a moment before there was
only empty space.
Your response to our inquiry has resulted in an overwhelming chorus of
"Yes, please do!" votes for our serialization of this popular weird novel
THE DEVIL'S BRIDE
by Seabury Quinn
Havo You Minort Dmm ktiMs?
#' 6j .Xovember 1964: Caveins of
Horror, Laurence Manning; Prodigy, Walt
Uebscher; The Mask, Robert W.Chambers;
Life- Aftei -Death of Mr. Thaddeus
Warde, Robert Barbour Johnson; Theb'em-
iiiiue Fi action, David Grinnell; Dr. Ilvi-
digget's Experiment, Nathaniel Hawthorne;
The Pacer, August Derleth; The Moth, H.
G. Wells; The Door to Saturn, Clark Ash-
/ 7, January 1965: The Thing from —
Outside, George Allan England; Black
Thing at Midnight, Joseph Payne Brennan;
The Oblong Box, Edgar Allan Poe; .1 Way
with Kids, Ed M. Clinton; The Devil of
the Marsh, E.B. Marriott- Watson, The
Shuttered Room, H.P. Lovecrafi & August
f 8. April 1965: The Black Laugh,
William J. Makin; The Hand of Glory,
K.H.D. Barham; The (la 1 1 is on, David
Grinnell; Passeur, Robert W. Chambers;
The Uidy oj the Velvet Collar, Washington
Irving; jack, Reynold Junker; The Bmg-
lar-Proof Vault, Oliver Taylor; The Dead
Who Walk, Ray Cummings;
/», June 1965: The Night Wire, H.F. ,
Arnold; Saciilege, Wallace West; All the
Stain of Long Delight, Jerome Clark;
Skulls in the Stars, Robert E. Howard;
The 1'hotogiaphs, Richard Marsh; The
Distortion out of Space, Francis Flagg;
Guarantee Period, William M. Danner; The
Door in the Wall, H.G. Wells; The Thee
Low Masses, Alphonse Daudet; The Whistl-
ing Room, William Hope Hodgson.
Order From Pago 128
am usually only mildly impressed
and seldom offer much reaction. But
perhaps a month later I suddenly
think, 'Now what was that story
in which such and such happened?',
and on thinking harder I suddenly
realize it was by Anna Hunger and
I find myself liking it— which I'll
probably do with this story, because
it was perhaps one of her best you've
"Worms of the Earth not REH
at his best— that is Solomon Kane
in my opinion— but REH at his sec-
ond best, which is no mean effort.
A pity a bit more wasn't made of
those prehellenistic Briton beings.
Hmmm, nice to think about what
does crawl under these green lands
and glades that still abound my
homeland here. So long as no
Tolkienistic barrowwreight assails
me I'll be content. Or an REH
"The Castle in the Window, a
very entertaining story, though per-
haps a little contrived, but it's the
sort, as I say, which supplies
pleasant reading, and a nice start
to the day. (I read it at about
in the morning, on my way to work,
as I do much of my reading. )
"They Called Him Ghost— this
idea of almost total reincarnation
after five generations fascinated me,
until I thought of our own royal
family, but then five generations back
from Elizabeth II was Victoria . . .
hmm, who knows ? So long as Eliz-
abeth doesn't become like that Vic-
torian old bat, I shall be happy.
Though author Can ill did say it
didn't have to be direct descent, but
anywhere in the family; and con-
sidering the size of Victoria's family
. . . hmm! No, another pleasant
It Is Written . .
and intriguing story with a cunning
"The Phantom 'Kickshaw wasn't
outstandingly horrific, or particu-
larly marvelous, but then I'm not
a great admirer of Kipling. Some
of his yarns are okay, and I tend
to categorize him with Conan Doyle,
both capable of good stories, but
also notable for boring ones (in
my opinion). This one came about
halfway betwixt It was dramatized
on the radio about a year ago, but
I find reading it slightly better.
"And back to A Psychichal Inva-
sion—Hoe best story ever in MOH,
These ghost finder yarns are
certainly my favorite, and John Si-
lence and Carnacki beat the lot I
try to analyze what it is about them
that so captures me into the story,
but I think it must surely be the
masterful story telling of Blackwood
and Hodgson and the intriguing
quality of the story-line itself. But
then, I ask myself, why don't I also
like Jules de Grandin with the same
passion? De Grandin yarns, though
I like them, I find I can't get so
wrapped up in, so involved in. With
this present yarn I was really right
in the story, even though I had to
break it at three different points when
I had 'to get off the bus to work,
and so on. I would dearly have
loved to read it at one sitting. I
hope that most people didn't read
it in two parts but at one go.
". . . Great to find you bi-monthly
again. You'll be in line for a Hugo
Kipling, I hear, is coming back
into favor with the establishment cri-
tics— to a certain extent One can pass
as literate, that is, if one appreciates
Hove You mmitomm fuumt
/10, August 1965: The GirlatHeddon's,
Pauline Kappd Priludk; The Torture of
Hope, VUliers de L'Isle-Adam; The Cloth
of Madness, Seabury Quinn; The Tree,
Gerald W. Page; In the Court of the Drag-
on, Robert W. Chambers; Placide's Wife,
Kirk Mashburn; Come Closer, Joanna
Russ; The Plague of the Living Dead, A.
fM, November 1965: The Empty Zoo,
Edward D. Hoch; A Psychological Ship-
wreck, Ambrose Bierce; The Call of the
Mech-Men, Laurence Manning; Was it a
'Dream, Guy de Maupassant; Under the
Hau Tree, Katherine Yates; The Head of Du
Bois, Dorothy Norman Cooke; The Dweller
in Dark Valley (vase), Robert E. Howard;
The Devils Pool, Greye la Spina.
02, Winter 1965/66: The Faceless God,
Robert II loch; Master Nicholas, Seabury
Quinn; But not the Herald, Roger Zelazny;
Dr. Munching Exorcist, Gordon Mac-
Creagh; The Affair at 7 Rue de M-, John
Steinbeck; The Man in the Dark, Irwin
Ross; The Abyss, Robert A.W. Lowndes,
Destination (verse), Robert E. Howard;
Memories ofHPL (article), Muriel E. Eddy;
The Black Beast, Henry S. Whitehead.
//3s Summer 1966: The Thing in the
House, H. F. Scotten; Divine Madness,
Roger Zelazny, Valley of the Lost, Rob-
ert E. Howard; Heredity, David H. Kel-
ler; Dwelling of the Righteous, Anna
Hunger, Almost Immortal, Austin Hall.
04, Winter 1966/67: Out of print.
Order From Page 128
Have You Missed These Issues ?
015, Spring 1967: The Room of Shadows,
Arthur J. Burks; Lilies, Robert A. W.
Lowndes; The Flaw, J. Vernon Shea; The
Doom- of London, Robert Barr; The Vale of
Lost Women, Robert E. Howard; The Ghoul
Gallery, Hugh B. Cave.
016, Summer 1967: Night and Silence,
Maurice Level; Lazarus, Leonid Andreyev,
Mr. Octbur, Joseph Payne Brennan; The
Dog That Laughed, Charles WlUard Dtf-
frln; Ah, Sweet Youth, Pauline Kappd Pri-
ludk; The Man Who /fever Was, R. A.
Lafferty, The Leaden /ting, S. Baring-
Gould; The Monster of the Prophecy, Clark
017, tall 1967: A Sense of Crawling, Rob;
ert Edmond Aker, The Laughing -Duke,
Wallace We*; Dermods Bane, Robert E.
Howard; The Spell of the Sword, Prank
Aubrey; "Williamson", Henry S. While-
head; The Curse Of Amen-Ra, Victor
016, November 1967: In Amundsen'i
Tent, John Martin Leahy; Transient and
Immortal, jun Haugnt; Out of the Deep,
Robert E. Howard; The Bibliophile;
Thomas Boyd; The Ultimate Creature,
R. A. Lafierty, Wolves of Darkness, Jack
019, January 1968: The Red Witch,
Nfefzia Dyalhis; The Last Letter From Nor-
man Underwood, Larry Eugene Meredith;
The Jewels of Vtsknu, Harriet Bennett; The
Man From CmcmoMi HoOoway Horn;
Ground Afire, Anna Hunger] The Wmd
In The Rose-Busk, Mary Wllkms-Freenian;
TheLastofPtadde's Wife, Kirk Mashourn;
The Years areata Knife, (Terse) Robert
Order From Page 128
Captains Courageous and The
Jungle Book; but I believe that the
rest is not to be mentioned. I'm al-
ways grateful to learn of the latest
ukases from the critical establish-
ment mainstream division, since I'd
rather not pass as literate by their
lights— although I wouldn't abhor
something just because they approved
it. After all, they're not perfect; no-
body can be wrong all the time.
A Hugo for MAGAZINE OF
HORROR strikes me as not only
bizarre, but also frightening, if not
a little gruesome; it would tell me
that the term 'science fiction' had
become totally meaningless.
Gene D' Orsogna writes from
Stony Brook, N.Y., "Your editorial
was as informative as ever. On the
subject of Keller's apparent simplic-
ity of style: My college lit prof.,
in citing styles in fantasy fiction con-
demns the doctor for 'insulting his
readers with four-word sentences and
banal, plain people' ( ! ) my exclama-
tion point He continued by- saying
that in his mind, 'Homer Eon Flint
(good lord! ) with his fine natural-
istic style ( ! ?! ) and his classic, em-
inently readable novel, The Blind
Spot (zounds ! ) is the finest author
in the field.'! There were several
rebuttals, all of which were sneered
"The Abyss, the star of the issue,
as always, was unbelievably power-
ful. His characters are real, three-
dimensional entities. The 'scientific
jargon', that is, the discussions on the
drug XYZ, as well as Dr. Jungera'
analysis of symbolism, were among
the most compelling segments. The
method of dispensing the 'Chu-chu
gum' seemed somewhat contrived;
It Is Written .
needless to say, it would seem nearly
impossible, even in 1947. But I feel
this implausible means will be more
than justified in the end.
"Douglas M. Dold's The Thir-
teenth Floor is little more man a
gruesome reworking of A Christmas
Carol This is not meant to deride
the story. I found it very engrossing,
to say the least The idea of the dead
reliving the suicides of others was
a vivid, moving, frightening scene.
So overwhelming was this segment,
that the ending, penned with pure
maple syrup, can easily be forgiven.
"One By one is, without a doubt,
one of the most literate, sincerely
intelligent new stories, in \ any
branch of literature, that I have read
in Some time. Brilliantly, Mr. Hod-
gens has created his shadowy nether
world. I was drawn along with the
last Theophilus until the very end,
completely entangled in the strange,
"Leapers did not really come off
for me. I found it, despite any re-
visions you may had made, still too
slavish an imitation of Lovecraft. To
my mind, only Lovecraft could pull
off a successful horror story relying,
as he did, on almost pure narrative.
"But there was something else
missing here, too. It lacked the subtle
inference of Clarissa, the murky,
startling imagery of your The Abyss,
or the wild explosion of grotesque,
strangely beautiful flamboyance of
Lilies. Don't take me wrongly; I want
to see more of your work in MOH.
Besides, I predict that Leapers will
finish in the second spot in the final
"The Death Mask, on the offset,
had me expecting more than it de-
livered. The opening paragraphs,
HOV* YOV MiSMd H»M fcMMtf
/20, March 1968: The Siren of tie
Snakes, Ariton Eadie; The Ruck, G: G.
Ketcaam; A Cry From Beyond, Victor
Rouueau; Only Gone Before, Emtl PWaJ i;
The Voice, Ndl Kay;- The Monsters, Mur-
/21, May 1968: Kings oftheNiglU, Rob-
ert E. Howard; T/ie Cunning of Private
Rogoff, David A. English; The Brain-
Eaters, Frank Belknap Long; A Psychical
Invasion (part one), Algernon Blackwood;
Nasturiia, CoL S. P. Meek; Tlie Dark Slar,
G. G. Pendarves.
022, July 1968: Worms of the Earth,
Robert E. Howard; Come, Anna Hanger;
They Called Htm Ghost, Laurence J. Ca-
hill; The Phantom 'Rickshaw, Rudyard
Kjplttg;'-7»e Castle in the Window, Stef-
faa B. Aleffl; A Psychical Invasion,
( part two), Algernon Blackwood.
023, September 196&-. Vv Abyss (part
one), David H. Keller, M.D.; The Death
Mask Mrs. H. D. Everett; One By One,
Richard M. Hodgens; The Thirteenth floor,
Douglas M. Dol*. Leapers, Robert A. W.
#24, November 1968: Once in a Thou
sand Years, Frances Bragg Middleton; The
Eye of Hoi us, Steffan B. Aletti; 4 Prose
Poems: Memory, What the Moon Brings,
Nyarlathotep, Ex Oblivione, H.P. Love-
craft; .1 Diagnosis of Death, Ambrose
Blerce; The Abyss (part two), David H.
wrow rrom rag* lis
MAGAZINE OF HORROR
Charles Willard Diffin
text of his Guest-
which had to be
abridged at Nycon III
Lester del Rey
An Old Classic
D. D. Sharp
Insure your copy now— see
Order CouDon on page 125
too, hinted at a ghost story of fine
proportions. It soon descended to the
level of fainting (Victorian style)
women, and quivering, ineffectual
men. The first appearance of the face
was startling enough, but after that
it seemed to get stale to the point
of self parody. It moved at a good
clip, however, and did not consume
too much of my time.
"If you are now considering
serials, I would very much like to
see William Hope Hodgson's The
House on the Borderland serialized."
I'm far from astonished that the
sort of mentality which finds nothing
wrong with the grade of English,
and tht characterizations, to be
found in The Blind Spot (and can't
distinguish between Flint and Hall)
would also find everything wrong
with Dr. Keller's style and charac-
Igor Stravinsky made the perfect
comment upon this sort of conscious-
ness, when he attended the premiere
of Walt Disney's Fantasia, and saw
what had been done to his own Sacre
du Printemps: "One does not argue
So be of good cheer. Many of us
had to suffer through the same op-
eration from so-called authorities in
our own schooldays. But there are
exceptions. It was my home room
teacher in 8A, talking to us enthusi-
astically about the wonderful short
stories of H.G. Wells, who first gave
me encouragement in what seemed
to me to be a utterly hostile world, so
far as "imaginative fiction" was con-
cerned. He told us the story of The
Red Room, and a wonderfully chill-
ing performance it was.
MAGAZINE OF HORROR
h. J j
Have You Seen Our Companion Publications?
If your newsdealer is sold out; or does not stock them, here's a remedy;
use coupon below or a facsimile.
HEALTH KNOWLEDGE, Inc., 119 Fifth Avenue,
New York, New York 10003
Please send me the following magazines; I enclose
STARTLING MYSTERY STORIES, $2.50 for a 6-issue subscription.
FAMOUS SCIENCE FICTION, *i, *2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8, *9
when printed — issues encircled at 50c the copy.
WORLD-WIDE ADVENTURE #1, #2, *3, #4, *5, *6, when printed
— issues encircled at 50c per copy.
(Minimum order for FSF or WWA, $1 .00)
City State & Zip No.
Tuesday the 28th. Just before sun-
rising, while I was yet asleep, Mr.
Christian, with the master at arms,
gunner's mate, and Thomas Burkitt,
seaman, came into my cabin, and
seizing me, tied my hands with a
cord behind my back, threatening
me with instant death, if I spoke
or made the least noise: I, however,
called as loud as I could, in hopes
of assistance; but they had already
secured the officers who were not of
their part, by placing sentinels at
their doors. There were three men
at my cabin door, liesides the four
within; Christian had only a cutlass
in his hand, the others had muskets
and bayonets. I was hauled out of
bed, and forced on deck in my shirt,
suffering great pain from the tight-
ness with .which they had tied my
hands. I demanded the reason for
such violence, but received no other
answer than abuse, for not holding
my tongue. The master, the gunner,
the surgeon, Mr. Elphinstone,
master's mate, and Nelson, were kept
confined below . . .
You Won't Want To Miss
A MUTINY ABOARD
by Lt. William Bllgh
in the new 5th issue of
The House on the Borderland is
v^ery long, and it has been reprinted
separately by Ace Books, D-553,
each 35 cents.
You may be right about Leapers;
J certainly hope you're right about
the three other stories with which you
compare it. Seventy-five percent is
stil a passing grade.
Eddy C. Berlin writes from 17,
Vlaamse kaai, Gent, Belgium: "Could
you mention my address in your
magazine and write 'badly wanted
to complete collection: MAGAZINE
OF HORROR / 4.' After looking
through your series, which I have
now otherwise complete, I can only
say 'excellent'. Your Finlay covers
are the best you got till now, except
the one cover by Gray Morrow. As
logotype I liked best the almost elec-
trical lettering of 'Horror' on the
Morrow cover, but as they are now
they are good, too— better than the
gore-dripping letters you used at one
time. I have all the Lovecraft fiction
in print, 'and some out of print too,
but I see no reason why a real HPL
fan would object to your printing of
some Lovecraft shorts. This is a way
of bringing HPL to new readers who
may not have read much by him.
But, please, not too long novelets of
swords and sorcery by Robert E.
Howard and Co."
I agree with the desirability of
running a short story by H.P. Love-
craft once in a while. As a run-over
of the back-issues columns will show,
four numbers of MAGAZINE OF
HORROR are now out of print.
See page 125
Vk* £jito**6 Pap
Smith's mightiest champion was H.
P. Lovecraft, whose taste in weird fic-
tion was of the highest order. Love-
craft sought to draw attention not
only to the stories, but also to the
poetry (of which Wright published
a generous sample) and the artwork
— drawings and sculpture. While my
own preferences in poetry no longer
include the Smith type, I can still
see that it is excellent of its type,
and the translations (or renderings)
from Baudelaire retain their appeal
for me. With the artwork, I'll admit
that my inability to respond favor-
ably to it might represent a lack in
me, rather than an absence of merit
in the drawings and sculptures them-
selves. It has been highly praised
by persons whose taste I know to
be good— persons who are not read-
ily taken in by pseudo-art and fads.
He illustrated a number of his
stories, the present one among them,
and these illustrations were con-
( continued from page 5)
troversial to say the least To my
eyes, one is little better or worse than
another, but it's only fair that you
should have a chance , to see what
I'm talking about. If it is possible to
obtain a clear reproduction of it,
you'll see his illustration for The
Colossus ofYlourgne here.
It is to August Derleth and Ark-
ham House that we all owe thanks
for the fact that Smith's stories are
still alive outside of crumbling old
magazines, for anthology appear-
ances have been few and, if memory
serves me right, not always top grade
Smith— though, of course, the an-
thologist likely felt otherwise.
Two elements we find in Smith
that are missing in Lovecraft are
humor and eroticism, and it was
partly because I had read some of
the Averoigne tales by CAS that Ca-
bel's Figures of Earth, The Silver
Stallion, and Jurgen also appealed
to me back in the 30's. BAWL
MAGAZINE OF HORROR
ft may sound like no more than a
orarttautng eoaaa-on when you read
in ume after issue nisi our stock is
low on bade Issues of MAGAZINE
OF HORROR. Nonetheless, this
I* true— and we have no way of
knowing how long the supply of
any issue wfll last Two are out of
print* and we kid you not in say-
ing flat orders for back issues come
m every day. Be warned)
it you oo not wsfif to
nu04ttln# f moiety focttanifo of
MAGAZINE OF HORROR, Dept MOH 25 Please PRINT
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Please rate the stories in the order of your preference, as many as pos-
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THERE SHALL BE NO DARKNESS
THE PHANTOM SHIP
WHEN DEAD GODS WAKE
THE WRITINGS OF ELWIN ADAMS
THE COLOSSUS OF YLOURGNE
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